Ethics Team Takes Second Place in Enactus Ethics Competition

On April 16-17, the SU Perdue School of Business Ethics Team traveled to Mount St. Mary’s University to compete in the Enactus Ethics Competition. The team was comprised of Brooklyn Galloway, David Salmon, Lauren Wright, John Mertens, Alexandra Chandler and advisor Professor Mo Brown. Enactus, formerly Students in Free Enterprise, is sponsored by over 100 major corporations including Wal-Mart, Coca-Cola, Unilever, BB&T and KPMG.

The team was presented with a case concerning the production of palm oil in Indonesia and Malaysia. The issue of the case was "How does one produce more palm oil with more social value and less environmental impact? "

 Ethics Team
Ethics Team

The team’s solution was two-fold and encompassed the theme "Renew and Restructure." The first aspect of this plan, "Renew," delved into the problem of the methane as a by-product of palm oil production. The team proposed that the companies harness the methane and utilize it as power for their plants and for the native people. The second aspect of this plan, "Restructure," concerned the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. This association, the RSPO, was created in order to promote sustainable practices of palm oil, but it fell short and was subject to criticism for its lack of effectiveness. The solution proposed by the team was to reorganize the board of the RSPO, create more stringent criteria for membership, and include governments as affiliate members.

First place in the competition went to Howard University, second place was awarded to Salisbury University, and the United States Naval Academy received third place honors. Salisbury University first began participating in this competition in 2010, since then we have won it twice, in 2011 and 2013.

Overall, this competition provided many opportunities to develop professional skills. As stated by Brooklyn Galloway: "We learned a lot about the present situation in Indonesia and Malaysia concerning palm oil, but we also grew in our analytical skills as we weighed the benefits and problems associated with every solution we discussed. Presentation and communication skills were also honed as we worked to prepare a proposal that introduced the problem and solution in a logical and concise manner, skills which we all will use in our future careers."