HEC Montréal CSR Challenge

Keynote Address

Beyond CSR…Acting with Purpose

Come learn of the movement of entrepreneurs who are redefining business success: from the best in the world to the best in the world. Their profitable, resilient companies are of all sizes and found in 100+ sectors in 50 countries. Come learn why they gravitate to the new B Corp certification, and why their movement is more powerful than conventional sustainability and corporate social responsibility.

Craig Ryan

Director – Social Entrepreneurship, BDC

February 16th, 2019 – 4pm
HEC Montréal, Amphitheatre Banque-Nationale

View The Live Webcast

About the Challenge

HEC Montréal Défi RSE/CSR Challenge is a bilingual case-competition hosted by HEC Montréal and Association des Étudiants MBA (AEMBA). It is a two days case cracking event that focuses of the problems and challenges in sustainability, corporate social responsibility and environment. We host MBAs from around the globe as they provide solutions that will advance the role business leaders can play in contributing to the betterment of their communities.

Our Mission

The mission of the CSR Challenge is to promote sustainability and social responsibility, while encouraging the future leaders to think differently and to explore solutions to social and environmental challenges.


Be the reference in the world for case competitions that bring a social purpose in corporate strategy.


  1. Build awareness of the today’s environmental and societal issues and the existing solutions.
  2. Create a learning environment for the participants to acquire knowledge and skills to face the present and future challenges in sustainability. We have partnered with local organizations to include real “live” case problems as part of the competition, so you can help make an impact in the entrepreneurial community
  3. Develop your case analysis and presentation skills by participating in feedback sessions given by a panel of judges.
  4. Expand your professional and social network by meeting a wide array of MBA students and CSR professionals.

Competition Overview

This year’s 10th edition of HEC Montreal Defi RSE/CSR Challenge will include live cases with real organizations who will be part of the competition. The theme will be more broadly oriented towards corporate responsibility, along with innovative approaches to sustainability in order to provide a diverse and spirited experience. The competition will include distinguished guests from the CSR sector and will be an excellent networking opportunity whether amongst industry leaders or like-minded MBA students.
Our case competition is an excellent opportunity for MBA students to apply analytical skills to a current corporate responsibility issue and find an original and practical solution. Teams will present their recommendations to a panel of judges, which will include senior executives from leading corporations.
Dates: 14th-16th February, 2019
Location: HEC Montréal, CSC Building
City: Montréal, Canada

Previous Winners




Teams & Prizes

Participating universities can send up to  two teams, composed of  four students each. The three highest scoring teams will receive the following prizes ($CAD):

  • 1st Place: $6000
  • 2nd Place: $3000
  • 3rd Place: $1500

Participating universities may send up to two (2) teams composed of four students each. The first team is approved on a first come first served basis. Due to limited spots in the competition, the second team will be accepted depending on the availabilities in December

Why Participate

  • Because you are genuinely interested in working on real life cases in sustainability
  • Because you want to develop a skillset and acquire knowledge to prepare yourself for a career in CSR related field
  • Because you love doing case competitions and winning prizes
  • Because you want to expand your international professional network and meet great people from around the globe
  • Last but not least, because of location:
    • HEC Montreal, the first North American school to be awarded the three most prestigious international accreditations and ranked amongst the best universities in Canada.
    • HEC Montreal and its students are actively involved in sustainability and social responsibility initiatives.
    • Montréal– a fun-loving city with superb hangouts and food!

Details for Participants

Event Dates: 14th-16th February, 2019

  • Early Registration: 500$ CAN, if teams register prior to December 1st, 2018
  • Regular Registration: 600$ CAN, from December 2nd, 2018 to January 18th, 2019
  • Registration deadline: 18th January, 2019
  • Payment can be done by PayPal through the website or by cheque (issued to: Association des étudiants MBA – HEC Montréal, Address: HEC Montréal, Côte-Sainte-Catherine Building  3000 Côte-Sainte-Catherine Road, Montréal, Quebec, Canada H3T 2A7)
Team Guide

2019 – Teams’ guide

Team Evaluation Form

Evaluation Form

Previous Participants

“It is since the last year that I know that I want to participate in HEC Montreal CSR Challenge. It is a unique event in Montreal, which teaches us a lot about real-life challenges that the local companies face and provides us with an opportunity to contribute to the city.” – Judith, HEC Montreal

“We have truly enjoyed the academic experience in the context of the event, learning about different types of companies and about social innovation” – Yi, HEC Montreal


Final Schedule

PDF of Schedule

Event Rules

The Competition

The competition is open to full-time and part-time MBA Students.
All teams shall be composed of maximum 5 members. The team leader has to choose the best 4 for the case preparation and analysis, and provide this information to the organizing committee before getting the case for Cases 2 & 3.

For any team that has registered as a team of three or less, they have until 12pm (EST) on 7th February 2019 to submit the names of additional team members (if there are any changes).

A team arriving late at any stage of the competition or missing a team member will be not be scored for that case. In particular situations, adjustments can be made if prior information is given.

Teams will be segregated into groups with 4 to 5 teams per group. The composition of every group will change for each case. For example, if Team A is in Group 1 for Case 1, it might be in Group 3 for Case 2.


Teams may have a coach (optional). During the presentation, the coach of the team may be present in the room, but only as an audience member. Any intervention of the coach during or after the presentation or in the question/answer session will immediately disqualify his/her team. Coaches and the resting team member (in case of five member team) are allowed to be present during other Division’s presentations.  Coaches are not allowed to help in solving of the cases.


The teams must bring their own laptops. A maximum of 4 laptops is allowed in the room during case solving.
Teams must also bring their own USB sticks. Only 1 USB stick is required per team.
Internet can be used during the preparation of Case 1 but internet access is not allowed for the preparation of Cases 2 and 3.  Use of internet during the Case 2 and 3 by any team member will immediately disqualify the team.
Teams must bring their own tools to the preparation rooms. Suggested items include: notepads, sticky notes, pens, markers, etc.

Languages of the event

The cases to be analyzed will be available in English and French. Teams have the choice to present either in English or French.

Teams must specify their language preference on their registration form.

Case Competition Presentation Criteria have been outlined in a separate document entitled “2018 HEC Corporate Responsibility Challenge Evaluation Form”. This is the evaluation form to be used by the judges during the competition.

A team’s performance will be evaluated according to an evaluation grid for a total of 100 points and ranked compared to the other teams in the division for bonus points. This is to ensure a clear division winner during the round. The evaluation will consider the identification and analysis of the problem statement, strength of recommendation, and overall effectiveness of the presentation. The team with the most points after all three presentations wins.

Why Become a Judge?

  • Because you believe that sustainability is essential for societal prosperity and growth
  • Because you are eager to share your expertise in sustainable development with young professionals and students from diverse backgrounds
  • Because you want to be involved in a local community event with a CSR focus & to learn about the pressing issues facing organizations in the areas of corporate social responsibility and sustainability
  • Because it is a great opportunity to network with a group of peers and academics working in corporate social responsibility & to meet and connect with top MBA students dedicated to making an impact in their upcoming careers

Become a Judge

A judge should be one of the following:

  • Have business or professional experience in a field related to the competition (Corporate responsibility, Environment,  AI or Big Data)
  • Be a senior executive or manager with decision making authority
  • Be a senior consultant or advisor

A judge should also:

  • Be able to work in a multidisciplinary team
  • Have excellent listening skills and be able to communicate effectively

Judges will be required to:

    • Understand and analyze the details of the cases (including financial information) in a short time period
    • Evaluate the strength of the arguments and recommendations presented by the students
    • Demonstrate sound judgement, an open mind and cultural sensitivity
    • Ask relevant questions during the question period
    • (In some cases) provide feedback including comments and suggestions to teams after the competition

Judges Testimonials

“I greatly enjoyed being a judge at the 2016 HEC Montreal MBA Sustainability Challenge! The quality of the presentations and the participants’ thoughtful analysis were quite inspiring; and the camaraderie developed with fellow judges still remains to this day.” – Mihaela Stefanov, Manager Climate Change and Sustainability Services, EY

“For many years the HEC défi has been setting the tone in bringing the latest sustainability challenges to top MBA students across Canada and internationally. For us professionals active in this space everyday it is always a refreshing and great learning experience as well as an engaging way to spot top talents who come across as the strongest teams’ leaders!” – Gildas Poissonnier, Senior Manager, Sustainability, Deloitte

Why Become a Sponsor?

High visibility and exposure
Your organization will benefit from exposure to HEC’s 14,000 students and staff during the event’s promotional campaign a few months prior to the event, as well as 200 people during the event (judges, teams, volunteers and the public).

Enhanced brand positioning
Demonstrate the focus of your business on its social & positive impact in the community with many brand marketing opportunities before, during, and following the event.

Positive impact on your community
Contribute to the training of future leaders who are sensitive to the issues of corporate social responsibility.

Network and build your talent pipeline
Network and connect with top-level MBA students, business executives and other sponsors.

Sponsorship Levels

Contact us for other sponsorship opportunities

Our Sponsors

We are extremely grateful to all our sponsors and supporters!


Thao Ly Chau Tran


Christopher Costis
Alexis Roussel
Sanae Hajji
Camille Pellerin-Quessy


Caroline Dussault
Claudia Alvarada
Sean Teixeira
Hugo Naneix

Team & Judges

Prisca Agneroh
Estelle Hans
Katarina Yamada
Olivier Gagnon-Gordillo
Shahabeddin Naeini


Dmitri Kharitidi