CEMS and sustainability

Panel Debate - CEMS
By Marie Van Beijeren

8 November 2017 10:27

CEMS and sustainability

Circular business models and individual action were the focus during this year's CEMS Global Sustainability Week which took place at NHH in the end of October.

CEMS Club Bergen invited students to a week of activities to mark CEMS Global Sustainability Week at NHH. The week was kicked-off at NHH with a panel discussion ‘Food for Thought: towards a sustainable food industry’ moderated by resident in-house expert on sustainability, Associate Professor Lars Jacob Tynes Pedersen, and featuring representatives of start-ups making an impact in this area.

Start-ups represented on the panel included  Råvarene zero waste shop, Organic Soup Company, vertical farming innovation Ygdrasyl, and Invertapro, which produces insect protein for a circular economy contributed to an interesting panel discussion.

The panel discussion provided an arena for panel members to present their inspiration behind their business ideas, their circular business models, the hurdles they have had to overcome and face today, as well as their vision for a sustainable future.

Anita Bui, CEMS alumni and founder of Bergen’s first zerio-waste shop, and Invertapro founder Alexander Solstad-Ringheim, both have an appreciation for the student-business collaboration that is a focus of the CEMS programme. Solstad-Ringheim was involved in a successful week-long design thinking workshop with Pracademy and local businesses for the CEMS Block Seminar in August. The company has already produced one of the proto-types designed by the students for the sale of insect-based pet food. Solstad-Ringheim will again work with a new group of Students next spring on the three month-long CEMS Business Project next semester and sees marketing insects for human consumption as an interesting area for a business challenge. While the panel discussion is the first experience of CEMS for Julian Ruiz of Organic Soup company and Ygdrasyl, the founder of these two successful initiatives is open to collaboration with CEMS in future.

The Panel Debate was followed by a short networking event where students could chat with the panel guests and learn more about their sustainable business practices. As well as bringing along the students’ prototype and newly produced packaging based on their ideas, Solstad-Ringheim brought along some chilli-flavoured insects for the more adventurous participants to try.

The CEMS Global Sustainability Week at NHH coincided well with the recruitment period for CEMS students for next autumn semester.  Activities for the week were widely promoted to all students in a bid to not just highlight sustainable practices, but to attract future students to the CEMS Master In International Management.

With over 1000 views of the live-streamed panel discussion event on Facebook, CEMS Club Bergen has succeeded in raising awareness for NHH CEMS and its close collaboration with business, and the Club is hopeful that this has been a factor in encouraging new applications.

Among other events organized by CEMS Club Bergen was a food party where the students contributed 12 kg groceries and money collected to charity, a jogging event, and a ‘Measure your Environmental Footprint’ activity.

Global Sustainability Week is celebrated each October by CEMS Clubs at CEMS academic partner schools worldwide to raise awareness for initiatives and individual action which contributes to a sustainable future.

Read article about CEMS Sustainability Week 2016 (Paraplyen)

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