Gustavson commits to carbon offset projects recommended by students at annual pitch competition


December 12, 2019, Victoria, BC - The University of Victoria’s Peter B. Gustavson School of Business continues its commitment to environmental and social responsibility by investing in carbon offset projects chosen by students for a second consecutive year. This investment will offset the school’s 2018 Scope 3 travel and commuting emissions. 

The investment is a result of Gustavson’s 2019 Carbon Offset Pitch Competition, in which teams of students from across the business school are given the opportunity to submit carbon offset portfolios consisting of up to five carbon offset projects derived from a list chosen by Gustavson's Carbon Neutrality Plus Committee. The students were also asked to come up with a creative 90-second video to pitch their project and explain how it aligned with the school's values. Students, faculty and staff then had the chance to vote for their favourite offset portfolio. A record breaking number of votes were cast, helping to decide the projects Gustavson would invest in this year.

The winning team, Jack and the Greenstock, was composed of BCom students Benjamin Cook, Seamus O’Farrell and Nolan McLeod. Their chosen projects were the Lower Zambezi Reducing Emissions from Deforestation project, in Zambia, and the Great Bear Rainforest conservation project, in northern British Columbia. In addition to the opportunity to directly influence the school’s strategy around offsetting, the winning team walked away with hundreds of dollars in prize money to sustainable businesses and a custom tour by Victoria-based sponsor Tesla Tours.

2019 marks Gustavson’s 10th year tracking its carbon footprint, and the Carbon Offset Pitch Competition is becoming a key aspect of Gustavson’s commitment to carbon neutrality. This year’s competition received submissions from Gustavson’s BCom, Daytime and weekend MBA, PhD, and exchange students.

"I'm delighted to see so much interest from our students across all our programs, both in terms of developing and pitching portfolios and in engaging in the voting process,” says Sustainability Professor and Co-chair of the Carbon Neutrality Plus Committee Simon Pek. “It is essential to actively engage students in our offsetting initiatives, both as an educational opportunity to learn about offsets and also as a way to harness their great ideas and passion for sustainability work."