Business savvy students green it up at UTM

Show Me the Green: University of Toronto Mississauga students and third-place winners Ramandeep Jutla, Akanksha Garg, Andrea Koop and Paulo Pereira pocketed a cash prize of $1000 during the eighth annual SMG Conference.
Saturday, March 7, 2015 - 7:34pm
Sarah Jane Silva

Dirty, grease-stained pizza boxes need not spell gloom and doom for recycle die-hards. At least, that’s not what a group of UTM students thought when they proposed a simple, reusable design: what if the perforated lid of the box was fashioned into plates, and the reusable remainder of the box was sculpted into a container for leftovers.  

“It is a pizza box that is made out of 100 percent recycled material that is cheaper to produce than a regular pizza box as well as offering unique features,” said Paulo Pereira, a second-year economics and political sciences student. His team, Victorious Secret, ranked third at Show Me the Green, an annual eco-business competition held at the University of Toronto’s Mississauga campus and hosted by the university’s Undergraduate Commerce Society.  
 
Now in its eighth year, the popular event saw 25 teams from Ontario universities pitch environmentally sustainable product ideas and solutions to a panel of judges from both the business and academic worlds. The event also included inspirational speeches by principal Deep Saini and Mississauga mayor Bonnie Crombie, career workshops, and plenty of opportunities to rub shoulders with delegates and sponsors.

“The workshops at SMG were really helpful,” said Akanksha Garg, a second-year commerce student and third-place winner. “They got us to think about how to improve our current cover letters and resumes, and how to tackle answering tough interview questions.”

Returning sponsor Enersource was on that panel. “Students competing in this year’s Show Me the Green Conference presented creative ideas for smart, green initiatives in a number of key sectors,” said Joanne Campea, Director of Corporate Relations at Enersource.  “Enersource is proud to support these future leaders in their pursuit of a cleaner, more sustainable future.”

Although the two top prizes were snatched by teams from Schulich School of Business, UTM students succeeded in securing the third, fourth and fifth spots. “If you have a good idea and you are driven to show that idea then I think that will take you far,” said SMG Conference Co-Chair Carolina Brennan, who says the event is gaining in popularity among not only students but also industry professionals looking for fresh, innovative ideas.