Rotman Net Impact, in partnership with The Prince’s Accounting for Sustainability Project (A4S), is proud to announce the global A4S International Case Competition for 2020 (A4SICC 2020). After an incredibly successful two years, this year’s competition will be held at the Rotman School of Management in Toronto from March 27 to 28, 2020. Sponsored by Brookfield Asset Management, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and CPA Canada, the competition will focus on how applicants aim to scale up sustainable financing.

The students are presented with a case challenge and are required to develop a disruptive business and financial model, which must be scalable and have a measurable impact on key sustainability outcomes.

The competition offers a unique event that enables students to create practical solutions to global social and environmental issues. A4SICC establishes a network of students, academics, professionals and consultants from across business, finance and sustainability. Finalists will present in front of an experienced panel of respected industry judges. First place and runner up teams will receive a cash prize of $10,000 CAD and $5,000 CAD, respectively.

Case challenge

  • With the UN estimating that nations must raise ambition by five times to meet the 1.5ᵒC target, it is clear that rapid global action is needed.


  • Teams will be asked to create new and innovative financial products, solutions or mechanisms that scale up sustainable financing. Entries must be commercially viable while generating tangible environmental and/or social benefits.


  • Models should aim to overcome the challenges and barriers that the financial community is facing in finding viable, smart models that consider ESG (environmental, social and governance) factors. These challenges include demonstrating additionally, measurability and consistency of impact, and high upfront costs.


  • The financing solutions must be helping to deliver/fund/increase flows of finance towards sustainable business models and innovations that will make a tangible difference on climate change and/or the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Models must be market – not policy – driven, scalable and have a measurable impact on key sustainability outcomes.


The competition is open to university and business school students from around the globe. The first phase of the competition requires student teams to submit an executive summary and team outline. The closing deadline is Saturday 25 January, 2020.

The A4SICC team is also excited to announce the availability of financial assistance for teams travelling long distances. Teams wishing to apply for the travel fund must provide a statement of justification, no more than one page, detailing why their team should be awarded funding.

Richard Blundell, Managing Director, Cleantech at MaRS Discovery District, is confident that A4SICC will galvanize the ongoing shift among young graduates towards companies that focus on sustainability and careers with purpose. He says, “This year’s competition will provide teams the opportunity to showcase their transformative ideas and associated skills to design new business and financial models that are grounded in sustainable development principles using globally established frameworks to enhance social and environmental outcomes. The competition addresses challenges facing today’s business leaders in finance concerning the perceived trade-off between returns and impact, which are increasingly contested, offering a unique opportunity for impactful change.”

During the final round of the competition, from March 27 and 28, 2020 in Toronto, finalists will present in front of an experienced panel of respected industry judges.

A4SICC is being hosted by Rotman Net Impact – the principal sustainability focused student club at the Rotman School of Management. The competition judging panel will include members of the Canadian Chapter of the A4S CFO Leadership Network, which is run in partnership with CPA Canada.

For further information on the competition details and an upcoming information session please go to and sign up for updates or reach out to us at