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The A4S International Case Competition Returns for its Third Edition With a Focus on Scaling Up Sustainable Finance

TORONTO, Oct. 2, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- After two successful editions, the global A4S International Case Competition (A4SICC) is returning for 2020. Rotman Net Impact – the principal sustainability-focused student club at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management, presents the competition in partnership with The Prince's Accounting for Sustainability Project (A4S).

This year's competition will be held at the Rotman School from March 27 to 28, 2020. Sponsored by Brookfield Asset Management, Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan and CPA Canada, the competition will focus on how applicants aim to scale up sustainable financing. The competition is open to university and business school students from around the globe. 

Students are presented with a case challenge and are required to develop a disruptive business and financial model, which must be scalable and have a measurable impact on key sustainability outcomes. The competition offers a unique event that enables students to create practical solutions to global social and environmental issues. A4SICC establishes a network of students, academics, professionals and consultants from across business, finance and sustainability. Finalists will present in front of an experienced panel of respected industry judges. First place and runner up teams will receive a cash prize of $10,000 CAD and $5,000 CAD, respectively.

Case challenge: With the UN estimating that nations must raise ambition by five times to meet the 1.5ᵒC target, it is clear that rapid global action is needed. Teams will be asked to create new and innovative financial products, solutions or mechanisms that scale up sustainable finance. Entries must be commercially viable while generating tangible environmental and/or social benefits.  Models should aim to overcome the challenges and barriers that the financial community is facing in finding viable, smart models that consider ESG (environmental, social and governance) factors. These challenges include demonstrating additionally, measurability and consistency of impact, and high upfront costs. The financing solutions must be helping to deliver/fund/increase flows of finance towards sustainable business models and innovations that will make a tangible difference on climate change and/or the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Models must be market – not policy – driven, scalable and have a measurable impact on key sustainability outcomes.

The first phase of the competition, which will open following a Q&A session on Friday, November 15, requires student teams to submit an executive summary and team outline. The closing deadline is Saturday, January 25, 2020.

During the final round of the competition, from March 27 and 28, 2020 in Toronto, finalists will present in front of an experienced panel of respected industry judges. The competition judging panel will include members of the Canadian Chapter of the A4S CFO Leadership Network, which is run in partnership with CPA Canada.

Financial assistance for teams travelling long distances is also available. Teams wishing to apply for the travel fund must provide a statement of justification, no more than one page, detailing why their team should be awarded funding.

For more information on the case competition, visit https://a4sicc.com/.

The Rotman School of Management is part of the University of Toronto, a global centre of research and teaching excellence at the heart of Canada's commercial capital. Rotman is a catalyst for transformative learning, insights and public engagement, bringing together diverse views and initiatives around a defining purpose: to create value for business and society. For more information, visit www.rotman.utoronto.ca.

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