Hiro: In the Lent Term, two Cambridge MBA teams (Kenji, Hugo, Vimal, Matis / SJ, Arif, Chizara, Daisuke, Hiro) won first place across two separate Case Competitions – both covering ESG and Climate Change in their focus. Reflecting here on our activity and wonderful experiences.

What kind of business competition did you join?

SJ: The Avella Investments ESG Engagement MBA Challenge organised jointly with the Yale Initiative on Sustainable Finance is a case competition among MBA students to craft a proposal that maximises financial and environmental materials for a portfolio company.

Kenji: Kellogg Energy & Sustainability – Climate in Private Investing Case Competition is a yearly case competition held by the Energy & Sustainability Club of Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management. This year’s topic was integrating climate risk when performing due diligence on private companies and analysing them for potential investment.

Our motivation for entering a Business School Case Competition

Daisuke: Pursuing a career in the agriculture industry has motivated me to learn about the impact of ESG activities on agriculture. I have taken several courses and attended lectures related to it. At the same time, I wanted to utilise the knowledge and experience gained through my MBA programme in hands-on projects, and attending case competitions was one of the optimal opportunities to make that happen.

Kenji: Our motivation is primarily to learn more about climate change. Although Hugo had a profound experience in investment banking, we all are interested in the process of how climate change actually integrates into the investment scene. The case competition was an ideal opportunity to learn the concept deeply through team dynamics. It’s often true that we learn most from the things we’re deeply committed to.

What was the most interesting aspect about joining this competition?

Chizara: One of the most significant lessons learned was the value of integrative thinking in solving complex problems. The challenge required us to think beyond traditional business practices and consider innovative ESG strategies that could be integrated into CPI’s core operations. Additionally, we understood that comprehensive ESG integration into investment strategies is not just a moral imperative but also as a means to mitigate risks and enhance financial performance.

Kenji: The due diligence required to integrate the impact of climate change is particularly complex, especially without any established textbook. Our final presentation wasn’t perfect, but we were confident that it was the best we could do, given the limited time and information we had. Life, like investing, is full of uncertainties. Besides learning specific skills regarding due diligence, like how private equity funds perform valuations on their investment targets, I also learnt to be brave enough to forge our own path in uncertain situations and push forward regardless.


Chizara: Winning the case competition was a gratifying achievement, but more importantly, it reaffirmed our commitment to driving positive change through responsible business practices. The competition reinforced the notion that sustainable investing is not merely a trend but a fundamental shift in the investment landscape, requiring continuous adaptation and learning. As we embark on our future endeavours, we carry forward the lessons learnt from this experience, striving to be catalysts for sustainable innovation and impact in the business world.

To read more about sustainability pathways and career outcomes in the Cambridge MBA curriculum visit our web pages here >

Thanks to the MBA teams: Kenji Niwa, Hugo Mkhize, Vimal Lamba, Mathis Wong, Shiu Jern Ong, Arief Permana, Chizara Lawson, Daisuke Nishizawa and Hiromichi Matsunami.