AUT wins trans-Tasman Sustainathon event

17 Jan, 2023
 
lightbulbs in a row, one is lit up

Congratulations to Xanthe Moore and Gemma Moore, two third-year Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Business Conjoint students who have taken the top prize at the recent  TCS Sustainathon event.

The pair won A$5,000 and the chance to share their ideas with business leaders from some of Australia and New Zealand’s top companies.

TCS Sustainathon 2022 Australia and New Zealand is an international problem-solving competition that sees university students work in small teams to use innovation and technology to help solve real-world sustainability challenges faced by companies on both sides of the ditch.

Participants were encouraged to apply their problem solving and design thinking skills to work on sustainability challenges posed by myriad Trans-Tasman organisations.

Xanthe and Gemma tackled the problem presented by Virgin Australia – Cabin Waste: Keep it circling not grounded. They took a carrot, rather than a stick, approach.

“Our idea was to encourage consumers to change their habits and give them an option to not take an in-flight meal and receive a reward instead (e.g., frequent flyer points). We focused on a holistic approach to not only change businesses actions and behaviours, but also to challenge and change consumers decisions for a greater sustainable effect.”

Xanthe and Gemma agree that the competition was tough – but say the opportunities far outweigh the challenges.

“We have made many new connections with other students, different sectors of AUT and TCS and the challenge partners. The most challenging part was meeting very quick deadlines during our exam week; however, we conquered this through teamwork and dedication, and the hard work was well worth it,” they said.

“Our students showed they understand how to approach theoretical challenges with practical solutions – a skill that is valued by employers across all disciplines and sectors,” says Professor Kate Kearins, Dean of the Business School. “We commend their commitment to turning corporate problems into opportunities for sustainability.”

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