Berkeley to Host Wal-Mart Sustainability Competition

UC Berkeley has been selected to host the northwest regional competition of the Wal-Mart Better Living Business Plan Challenge in February. Preliminary plans for the competition are due Nov. 23.

The competition challenges students to invent sustainable products or develop sustainable business solutions and present them to a panel of Wal-Mart executives, suppliers, and environmental organizations. In addition to gaining an audience with some of the top business and sustainability leaders in the United States, the winning team will receive $20,000 to invest in their business or product.

Five-page preliminary business plans must be submitted to the Haas School's Center for Responsible Business by Nov. 23. The business plans must address one or more of the following areas: preserving clean air, water, and soil; reducing waste; improving energy efficiency or developing renewable energy ideas; or promoting healthy living for people and communities. Plans and presentations must quantify their ability to provide benefits in one or more of the above areas.

The top three UC Berkeley plans will be announced on Nov. 30. Those three teams then will present their plans to UC Berkeley judges on Jan. 29 to determine the university's finalist, which will compete in the regional northwest competition hosted by Berkeley on Feb. 19. That winning team will move on to the national semifinals and possibly final competition in Bentonville, Ark., on April 22 and April 23.

The first-place team will win $20,000, second place will receive $10,000, and third place will receive $5,000.

For more information about the UC Berkeley portion of the competition, contact Tony Kingsbury, executive-in-residents in the Sustainable Products and Solutions Program at the Center for Responsible Business. Visit the Wal-Mart Living Business Plan Challenge website for more details on the overall competition.