Carbon Offset Pitch Competition


 Check out this year's winner here


In 2017, Gustavson took a big step in taking responsibility for our school’s carbon footprint by offsetting the largest portion of our greenhouse gas emissions: travel and commuting. We soon became one of the first carbon neutral business schools in the world.

This year we’re pushing our commitment to environmental and social sustainability even further. And we need your help!

Gustavson wants you to decide which offset projects we should support in 2020. This year we're investing over $14,000 in carbon offset investments and we want to know where you think we should invest it. Participating is super simple, all you need to do is submit a list of up to five offset projects drawn from the options that have been pre-screened by the Carbon Neutrality Plus committee. Along with the portfolio, you’ll submit a video describing why you chose the projects you did. The portfolios and videos will be evaluated according to four criteria: Cost, Impact, Persuasiveness, and fit with Gustavson’s pillars. If you have any questions about how to create your portfolio or how to create a video please feel free to reach out to

Want to learn more about last year's Carbon Offset Pitch Competition, visit Gustavson's blog and Gustavson's news page.

Submission Guidelines

Submit Your Carbon Offset Submission Form Using the Steps Below

Complete and submit the Carbon Offset Submission Form using the steps below.

  1. Download the form here, rename the file as an MSWord file using your team name (i.e., AceTeamPortflolio.doc).
  2. Fill in your team name and names of your team members.
  3. Review the list of eligible projects and choose between 1 and 5 carbon offset projects on the list and indicate a percent allocation for each of your chosen projects totaling 100%. This is your portfolio. (NOTE: cost/tonne information on this form includes applicable taxes and may differ from cost/tonne project information on the offset company website).
  4. In the text box provided below your portfolio, briefly describe in 250 words or less a compelling justification for why your portfolio should be selected.
  5. Save your team’s Carbon Offset Submission Form and email it to

Submit Your Carbon Offset Video Using the Steps Below

Complete and submit your Carbon Offset Video Justification using the steps below.
  1. Choose the type of video you want to create. Your video submission can be anything that your team can produce for submission. For example, a recorded presentation, a cartoon, a visual guide of your portfolio (e.g., a PowerPoint or Prezi). Be as creative as you like, and be persuasive! 
  2. Film and edit your video which in 90 seconds or less should summarize your project and portfolio allocation, and justify why the projects you pick best meet the contest judging criteria.
  3. Save your video file as an .MP4, .MOV, or .WMV  file using your team name (i.e AceTeamPortflolio.MP4).
  4. Upload your video through the Chute submission system on our website by uploading your video to google drive and send it to .
  5. Receive confirmation from that your Carbon Offset Submission Form and Carbon Offset Video Justification have been received properly.

Video Tips

Gustavson professor Dr. Simon Pek welcomes you to the 2020 Carbon Offset Pitch Competition. 

Get some tips on how to create your Carbon Offset Portfolio Video. 


Who can enter the competition?

All UVic students currently enrolled with the Gustavson School of Business are welcome to submit a portfolio and video entry!

Can I enter as part of a group?

In order to promote Covid-safe situations, there is a maximum of two people per team. Team members must be students of the Gustavson Business School, and have not submitted a portfolio individually, or as part of another team.

Why get involved?

Creating a portfolio is super easy! You do not need to have any previous portfolio or video editing experience, all you have to do is gather pre-approved projects that you think fit best with Gustavson's Pillars and explain why. It is also a great chance to develop your research, analysis and pitching, and video editing skills - all while winning great prizes! 

Prizes for the winning team or individual include a $400 cash prize and additional honorarium.

Second and Third place (individuals or teams) will also receive a $150 cash prize. 

But more than just a valuable addition to your skills and résumé, the offset competition gives you the opportunity to effect real environmental and social change in your school, local community, and the world at large! This year we are offsetting over $14,000 in carbon offset investments and we want you to have a say in where that money will make the most impact.


How do I submit my portfolio?

The submission process is easy!

Individuals or teams of up to five students from across the Gustavson School of Business can submit their portfolio submission form by emailing it to - videos can then be uploaded to our online submission system by clicking the "upload your video" button above. Submissions open September 28th and close November 1st. Along with your portfolio, you will be required to submit a short video in which you and your team can explain the reasoning behind your chosen projects and their allocation. No previous experience is necessary and the video can be anything, from a cartoon, a recorded presentation, an instagram story, to a short film. Be as creative as you want! 


What kind of video should I submit?

Your video should summarize your project and portfolio allocation, and explain why the projects you pick best meet the contest judging criteria. 

Your video submission can be anything you produce; a recorded presentation, a cartoon, a visual guide of your portfolio - be as creative as you like, and be persuasive!  

You are more than welcome to record through zoom or find other creative ways to collaborate virtually. 

All video submissions must be less than 90 seconds long.

We encourage students to use anything at their disposal to make their video. If you're looking for professional equipment the McPherson Music and Media Library has free video and recording equipment at your disposal such as cameras, green screens, tripods and much more! All information on how to rent equipment during COVID-19 can be found here.

Helpful tricks and tips for creating your video

Listed below are some helpful links for stock content to use in your videos as well as some video ideas. 

In order to ensure that your video does not get copyrighted here are some helpful sites to find videos, photos and music that won't cause any copyright issues. 


Stock photos:


Stock video:


Royalty-Free Music:

Video Editor:

Video idea examples:


Videos from last year 

Jack and the Greenstock:

Emission Fighters:


Video Ideas: 

  • Record yourself presenting through zoom 
  • Record yourself in your yard or neighborhood 
  • Voiceover with stock video 
  • Voiceover a PowerPoint presentation 
  • Add text with stock images and videos 
  • Create charts and graphs 

Can I earn PDU's?

If you are in fourth year BComm there is an opportunity to receive up to 15 COM 405 points for participating in the competition. Contact your course instructor for more details.

How will my submission be judged?

Your submission, including both the portfolio and the accompanying video will be judged based on the following criteria: 

  • Cost: the total cost of the portfolio (based on the cost per tonne of each project in the portfolio and the proportion of that project in the overall portfolio).
  • Impact: the positive impact above and beyond the carbon offsets. For example, impacts can include any changes that these projects make to the lives of individuals, their families, their communities and the natural environment. 
  • Fit with Gustavson's Pillars: the portfolio and its social impact should fit with the GSB pillars: international, integrative, innovative, and sustainable/socially responsible. 
  • Persuasiveness: The overall persuasiveness, power, and engagement of the submission. 

How will my video submission be used?

The top shortlisted video submissions will be screened at the Carbon Offset Pitch Competition award ceremony. The videos will give students, faculty, and staff across Gustavson the chance to see our school's sustainability ideas in action. Selected videos may also be used in social media and on websites by UVic and the Gustavson School of Business.

What are carbon offsets?

Carbon Offsetting means compensating for the carbon-containing pollution you make (your carbon footprint) by preventing the same amount of pollution from happening somewhere else, or by removing that much carbon from the Earth's atmosphere. In the past, Gustavson has invested in a variety of projects. Sample offsetting projects include forest conservation (trees remove carbon from the air; sustainable forestry creates jobs), a wastewater treatment plant that prevents methane from entering the air (and provided clean water for irrigation and aquaculture), stoves and water treatment that reduce the need to burn wood for fuel.

Gustavson offsets our travel and commuting tCO₂e (i.e., tons carbon dioxide equivalent). In this case we are offsetting our 2019 emissions : employee commuting(66.7)+ employee travel ( 206.3) + BC student travel ( ) totalling 792.8 tCO₂e. Check out the 2019 carbon report for a detailed breakdown of Gustavson's carbon emissions.

The actual cost of the offset projects then will be based on the winning portfolio project per tonne costs and the percent allocations in the winning team’s portfolio as applied to our footprint. Your focus should be on the percentage allocation of the projects, as in the end you will be deciding the total money being allocated to offsetting.

Please consult the Carbon Offset Submission Document  for more information on eligible projects. 

How were the offset project options chosen?

First, Gustavson’s Carbon Neutrality+ Committee chose the highest ranked Canadian carbon offset companies as rated jointly by the David Suzuki Foundation and the Pembina Institute.  Second, we asked each of the four top tier providers to inform us of the list of their offset projects that meet all 11 of the criteria below – which we developed to be the most exacting standards for choosing such projects that we’re aware of.  The subset of projects meeting all of these criteria were then included in the list of eligible projects for the competition.
Carbon Neutrality+ Committee Offset Project Qualifying Criteria: 
  1. This offset project is a current and ongoing: Project offsets are available and may be purchased for said project before the end of 2020.
  2. The offset project is real and emissions reductions are additional: Projects result in actual reductions of greenhouse gas (GHG)      emissions that would not have otherwise occurred under a reasonable and realistic business-as-usual scenario.
  3. The offset project is transparent: Project details (including project type, location, developer, duration, standard employed, etc.) are known to the offset provider and communicated to stakeholders in a transparent way to help ensure validity and to  further the goal of education on climate disruption and sustainability.
  4. Emissions reductions are measurable: Project will result in quantifiable reductions of GHG emissions.
  5. Emissions reductions are long-lasting: Project will result in permanent reductions of GHG emissions.
  6. Emissions reductions are verified: Project will result in reductions of GHG emissions that have been/will be verified post facto by an independent third-party auditor.
  7. Offset project is synchronous: Project will result in reductions of GHG emissions that take place during a distinct period of time that is reasonably close to the period of time during which the GHG emissions that are being offset took place. (For UVic Gustavson, we want to invest in the chosen offset projects by the end of 2020 for our Scope 3 travel and commuting emissions from 2019).
  8. Offset project accounts for leakage: Project takes into account any increases in direct or indirect GHG emissions that result from the project activity by subtracting these from the total project expected benefit.
  9. Offset project includes clear co-benefits: Project includes educational, social, economic development, and/or resiliency benefits as part of the offset. An example of these types of benefits is included in the UN’s descriptions of their Sustainable Development Goals.
  10. Credits are registered: Credits produced from offset project activities are registered with a well-regarded, recognized registry that has been evaluated using established criteria.
  11. Credits are unique: Credits produced from project activities are not double-counted or counted and claimed by any other party.

I still have questions, who can I contact?

Email with any comments, questions, or queries you may have about the competition specifics, video creation or portfolio allocation.
View contest rules and details