June 01, 2016
Accenture Announces U.S. ‘Innovation Challenge’ Undergraduate Winner
University Teams Focused on Preventing Food Waste
NEW YORK; June 1, 2016 – A student team from University of Chicago, mentored by a team of Accenture (NYSE: ACN) consultants providing pro-bono management consulting services, are collaborating to support an effort by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to reduce food waste. The initiative is part of Accenture’s annual U.S. undergraduate Innovation Challenge.
Launched in 2012, Accenture’s Innovation Challenge provides college students from across the United States an opportunity to put their community spirit and creative ideas to the test by participating in a case-based competition to support a priority goal of a nonprofit organization. Winning student teams help implement their proposal with the nonprofit organization and a pro-bono Accenture consulting team, all working together to do well by doing good.
More than 200 teams from more than 60 undergraduate campuses and diversity partner organizations, with a total of 1200 competitors, participated. The winning team was selected following multiple rounds of competition.
“Where and how we grow our food is the pressing environmental issue of our time. Globally, humans waste one of every three food calories produced. Wasted food contributes not only to inefficiency and hunger but also to climate change, deforestation and wasted water,” said Jason Clay, WWF Senior Vice President, Markets and Food, and Executive Director of the Markets Institute.
“WWF is working with stakeholders across the hospitality, retail and other food services sectors to speed up the adoption of strategies that both measure and reduce food waste. The ideas that came out of Accenture’s undergraduate innovation challenge may help us deliver twice the results in half the time at a quarter of the cost,” Clay said. "This challenge has taken at least two years off our planning process and given us innovative approaches and two or three ideas for next year, too."
Undergraduate student teams were tasked with helping WWF work with grocery retailers and food service kitchens to develop more effective strategies to prevent food waste through their operations and supply chains.
“The Accenture Innovation Challenge is a key part of our mission to improve the way the world works and lives,” said Julie Sweet, Accenture’s group chief executive – North America. “We are excited to be working with WWF and undergraduates from the University of Chicago on an important environmental issue and to make an impact in our communities.”
The winning team designed a proposal through which WWF will leverage existing relationships with retailers and nonprofits to create an industry coalition to prevent food waste. The proposal also includes the creation of a digital platform for benchmarking the amount of food waste by store.  The platform would support the establishment of customized, data-driven standards for food waste reduction. Grocers that meet these standards will eventually be recognized by the coalition as low food waste retailers.
“It was incredibly exciting and gratifying for Accenture to help mobilize exceptionally talented and committed students to address the issue of food waste and, in turn, its impact on conservation,” said Marty Rodgers, managing director of Accenture’s Washington, D.C. office. “The World Wildlife Fund exemplifies high performance delivery and we are honored to help advance their important mission.”
About Accenture
Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries and all business functions – underpinned by the world’s largest delivery network – Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. With approximately 373,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world works and lives. Visit us at www.accenture.com.
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Joe Dickie
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