DesJardine won for his sustainable business idea, One Degree, an initiative that encourages businesses to permanently adjust their buildings’ temperatures one degree Celsius closer to the natural outdoor temperature. The CEOs judging the competition said they were impressed with the simplicity and overall impact of the idea.
DesJardine competed against teams from University of Calgary, University of Waterloo, York University and Cape Breton University, and was only surpassed by the University of Waterloo.
He said the competition was an invaluable learning experience.
“One of the greatest experiences in the entire process was the opportunity to deliver my idea to some of Canada’s top CEOs and receive feedback from them. Taking the time to participate in this event and provide insightful questions and comments speaks volumes about these CEOs’ priorities and the calibre of their companies,” he said. “As well, the fact that Walmart hosted this event really shows how businesses are pushing the sustainability front. I was very impressed.”
DesJardine said the knowledge he gained from the challenge has motivated him to launch his idea.
“One Degree started as a good idea, but with the knowledge I gained from the Walmart Student Challenge, it will become an initiative that has the chance to change Canadian business for the better,” he said.
Above: Ivey PhD student Mark DesJardine (centre) with judges (Peter Robinson, CEO, The David Suzuki Foundation; John LeBoutillier, President, Unilever Canada; Michael McCain, HBA ’79, President and CEO, Maple Leaf Foods; Shelley Broader, President and CEO, Walmart Canada Corp.; and John Guarino, President, Coca-Cola Refreshments Canada) at the Walmart Green Student Challenge.
Photo courtesy of Walmart Canada and Greig Reekie Photography.