OSU Student Team Coached by Brandon Bir Wins Sustainability Award

July 22, 2021 (Published: July 22, 2021)
Sustainability award winners

A team of four students sponsored by Crimson Cup recently won the Fischer Pathways in Supply Chain Sustainability Competition at The Ohio State University.

Made possible by a generous gift from the Central Ohio chapter of the Institute for Supply Management, 19 students on 6 teams worked on sustainability projects with six sponsor companies. Each team received coaching from an OSU professor and their corporate sponsor.

The Sustainability of Coffee Grounds

Crimson Cup Sustainability Director Brandon Bir coached Fischer College of Business Students Abigail Richardson, Yifei Gu, Yoanna Petrova and Oscar Zhu in their study of sustainable uses for coffee grounds.

“The global population drinks over 2.25 billion cups of coffee every day, creating over half a billion tons a year of used wet coffee grounds,” Brandon said. “If deposited in landfills, the grounds decompose and emit methane gas – one of the primary contributors to climate change.”

Brandon coached the student team in evaluating alternative solutions for the used grounds.

“I was impressed by the team’s creativity and drive to find real-world solutions,” he said. “We will consider some of their suggestions for implementation at Crimson Cup Coffee Houses.

The competition wrapped up with presentations by the teams before a panel of three judges:

  • Josh Knights, Director of Partnerships, OSU Sustainability Institute
  • Mike Roeth, Exec. Director, N.A. Council for Freight Efficiency
  • Alissa Yakali, SC Sustainability Manager, Honda N.A.

Each team lead a Zoom presentation and then answered questions from the judges.

After the presentations were complete, the judges awarded three top prizes and three honorable mentions.

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