The Said Business School Hackathon winning team from WBS: (left to right) Puspita Brilianthi, Thanit Dangmas, Paranee Anangosolporn, Jianyu Yang

A team of students from Warwick Business School have won a prestigious Hackathon competition for the third consecutive year.

MBA students from the country's leading business schools were invited to address a sustainability issue in the wake of COP26.

The WBS team won for designing a reward system of 'carbon point tokens' for retail giant Sainsbury's. The proposed scheme offered customers tokens in return for buying sustainable products.

Customers could redeem their tokens for products or services at partner locations, trade them on a token marketplace, or donate them to a scheme which saw Sainsbury's plant a tree in their name.

Team member Puspita Brilianthi said: "In the long run, this will gradually influence customers to adopt more sustainable shopping habits.

"At the same time, suppliers will be encouraged to reduce the carbon emissions of their manufacturing process in order for their products to qualify for the carbon point scheme.

"These sustainable products would be placed on distinct shelves in stores with the highest foot traffic, creating a further incentive for suppliers to innovate become more sustainable.

"That in turn would help Sainsbury's to move move closer to its own carbon reduction targets."

Ten teams were invited to take part in the Hackathon with entrants from Said Business School at Oxford University, Judge Business School at Cambridge University, and London Business School.

The strength of the competition makes Warwick's dominance in the event all the more impressive.

Meet the team

This year's team were classmates from the same cohort of the WBS MBA programme. They had no previous Hackathon experience and had never dealt with a sustainability-related case before.

Jianyu Yang said: "Nonetheless, we were confident that we could be a serious contender. Our team was well-balanced, with members from a diverse background, each bringing different skill sets that complemented one another.

Thanit Dangmas provided the team with finance insight as an investment analyst covering a variety of asset classes such as equity, fixed income, and real estate investment trust.

Paranee Anangosolporn brought her experience as a brand-building consultant and marketing strategist to help develop communication and go-to-market strategies.

Puspita provided her entrepreneurial passion and experience of running a social business in the food and beverages industry as well as her experience of working in finance for a multinational company.

Jianyu added his skills in industry and company analysis, deal processing, and experience of M&A and equity investment in the industrial and tech sectors, along with his accounting and legal qualitifications.

Paranee said: "The SBS Hackathon was the most remarkable experience we have had so far since our MBA. We enjoyed the process of creating and developing the ideas, constantly verifying the business model's feasibility.

"The experience gave us benefit in many forms such as opportunity to practice our learning from MBA studies, opportunity to build network with industry experts, gain insight and learning from other teams, and opportunity to get in-depth knowledge in sustainability."

Thanit said: "We were also grateful for the chance to connect with a mentor, Samuele Tini, a previous SBS Hackathon winner and former WBS MBA student who guided as to develop a more unique business proposal.

"We went from a group of individuals to an efficient team in only a few days. It was such an invaluable experience for all of us."

For more information about the range of Warwick MBA programmes available, click here.