Walmart Canada President and CEO David Cheesewright has launched the Walmart Green Student Challenge, inviting post-secondary students across Canada to develop proposals that are good for the environment and for business.
“Today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders,” said Cheesewright. “We are asking for their best, most innovative ideas to make business more environmentally sustainable in the future.”
The Green Student Challenge is designed to encourage the next generation of business leaders to create the next wave of sustainable business ideas. It is the latest in a series of large-scale sustainability initiatives Walmart has launched in Canada and throughout the world over the past five years.
“Many businesses are operating in a more sustainable way,” said Cheesewright, “but we know there is a lot more to be done. We are presenting this to students because we want to push business sustainability up the priority list with post-secondary institutions and future business leaders in Canada.”
Walmart Canada will award a total of $100,000 to students who come up with the best proposals. This will include $30,000 to the winner and $30,000 to the winner’s school. The remaining $40,000 of awards will be distributed to the second through fifth place winners, accordingly.
Submissions will be judged on three criteria: ease of implementation, originality, and potential economic, social and environmental benefits. Five semi-finalists will be flown to Toronto in March, 2012 to present their ideas in front of a panel of Canada’s top CEOs, who will choose the winning submission.
“Post-secondary students have an incredible opportunity at school—to learn, to experiment, to dream big and think in a different way, without the constraints placed on businesses,” continued Cheesewright. “Students also have the hope, ambition and drive to make an enormous impact on the world.”
Walmart Canada has been driving leadership in sustainability since 2006 and has a commitment to be supplied 100% by renewable energy, to create zero waste and to sell products that sustain people and the environment. It has worked with NGOs, suppliers, competitors, governments and its associates to share sustainable business ideas and is now seeking to actively engage the next wave of business leaders — students.