Celebrating a strategic victory: our team's triumph at the SAF Strategy Case Competition

Thursday, July 11, 2024
by Rachel
Rachel, Shilp, Mischa, and Tony in SAF case competition team photo.

This year, our team (Mischa, Rachel, Shilp, and Tony) had the privilege of winning the SAF Strategy Case Competition, hosted annually by the School of Accounting and Finance (SAF). Sixteen semi-finalists presented at the in-person competition Saturday, June 1, with four teams making it to the final round. 

This year’s case, written by Zia Baig, focused on BP’s transition from traditional oil and gas operations to a more sustainable and renewable energy model. Our solution, “BP: Powering the Future” followed a three-pronged approach:

1. Increasing Methane Abatement In Tandem with Continued Oilfield Operations

Methane, a potent greenhouse gas, has a significant impact on climate change. Our approach leveraged BP’s existing technology to monitor and reduce methane emissions from flaring operations. This technology provides real-time data, enabling early interventions and reducing emissions effectively. By improving the accuracy of methane quantification and enhancing combustion efficiency, BP can significantly mitigate its environmental footprint while maintaining its oilfield operations. This will both satisfy shareholders while also providing the influx of capital needed to power the transition to clean energy alternatives. 

2. Refocusing Corporate Ventures on Green and Tech-Forward Opportunities

BP’s corporate venture arm plays a critical role in fostering innovation and strategic growth. We proposed a shift in focus towards investments in green technologies and startups that align with BP’s sustainability goals. By investing in emerging technologies like advanced battery storage, renewable energy platforms, and smart grid technologies, BP can stay ahead of the curve and drive the transition to a low-carbon economy. This strategic refocus not only supports BP’s sustainability targets but also positions the company as a leader in the energy transition.

3. Exclusive Partnership with NVIDIA for Renewable Energy-Powered Data Centers

Data centers are essential for the modern digital economy but are also significant energy consumers. Our proposal included an exclusive partnership with NVIDIA to power BP’s data centers with renewable energy. NVIDIA’s cutting-edge technology in AI and data processing, combined with BP’s renewable energy capabilities, creates a powerful synergy. This partnership aims to reduce carbon emissions from data centers, enhance energy efficiency, and showcase BP’s commitment to integrating sustainable practices into every aspect of its operations.

Reflections on the Experience

Winning the SAF Strategy Case Competition was an experience that underscored the importance of innovation and strategic planning. The competition allowed us to apply our academic knowledge to real-world issues, collaborate effectively as a team, and present a compelling case to a panel of industry consultants from companies including Bain, BCG, Accenture, and more.

This could not have been possible without the hard work, dedication, and the invaluable guidance from our mentors and the School of Accounting and Finance. Thank you to Zia Baig, Echo Chen, Vireshaar Ragavan, and faculty member Mark Arnason for hosting the competition, as well as the School of Accounting and Finance for sponsoring it. We look forward to continuing our efforts to drive positive change in the world.