Case Competitions

2022 NYU Stern Sustainable Business Pitch Competition

Sponsored by Eddie Stern, CSB hosts NYU and Stern students for a pitch competition to create innovative finance solutions to decarbonizing NYC's built environme

About the 2022 Competition

In the Spring 2022 NYU Stern Sustainable Business Pitch Competition, students competed for a $15,000 total prize purse by persuading major U.S. banks to take a more proactive role in reducing the carbon footprint of NYC’s buildings. Teams developed proposals to persuade banks to facilitate clean energy loans to fund energy efficiency retrofits in their lending portfolio.

New York City’s one million buildings create roughly 70% of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions. In 2019, NYC enacted Local Law 97 (LL97) that will place carbon caps on approximately 28,000 residential and commercial properties across NYC. Penalties for exceeding these limits begin in 2024 and will become more stringent over time, with the goal of reducing emissions 80% by 2050. 

A new financing program offers Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) loans, helping underwrite energy efficiency retrofits and clean energy projects that will reduce the carbon emissions of buildings. PACE is intended to help property owners fund the work necessary to comply with the upcoming carbon emissions limits, avoid penalties, and reduce utility costs over the long term.

Rather than standing as a barrier to sustainability efforts, the major U.S. banks can become a force for change and empower their mortgage holders to decarbonize their buildings by allowing, encouraging and providing PACE loans. 

Carbon Compass, a data tool created by CSB, calculates carbon emissions and potential fines for buildings if no reduction strategies are implemented. Students used this tool to make the business case for banks to encourage and facilitate the use of PACE loans to reduce emissions and comply with upcoming carbon caps.

Business Pitch Competition
Congratulations to this year's winners!
First Place: Home A-Loan

  • Isa Ballard
  • Rowan Kurtz
  • TT Venkatraghavan
  • Allie Waxman
Second Place: Built to Last
  • Nissim Chandokar
  • Anirudh Krovi
  • Kendra Spruill
  • Ariel Sultan
Third Place: Chasing Green
  • Hazel Balaban
  • Caroline Murphy
  • Grace Powell
  • Sam Powell
 

Competition overview:

  • Teams were assigned a major bank mortgage lender and will focus on the properties subject to LL97 within that bank’s lending portfolio.

  • Teams used the Invest NYC SDG LL97-PACE data tool, Carbon Compass, a public database that shows all buildings subject to Local Law 97, each building’s carbon emissions and current mortgage holder. 

  • Teams developed a pitch to persuade the mortgage holder (bank) to consent to PACE financing, consider becoming a PACE lender itself, and proactively work with mortgage holders to use its lender status to encourage decarbonization.

  • Teams had the opportunity to attend educational sessions led by experts in relevant fields and receive coaching during both rounds. 

  • The Competition entailed two rounds:
  1. A 6-10 page written submission and
  2. A live proposal presentation (deck) via Zoom 


The Sustainable Business Pitch Competition is organized by the NYU Stern Center for Sustainable Business with sponsorship by Eddie Stern. In the Spring 2021 competition, more than 40 NYU graduate students from Stern School of Business and other NYU graduate schools proposed demonstration projects for local food production in NYC that were situated at the nexus of the private sector, government, and community engagement. The winning proposal is currently being executed by the Invest NYC SDG team at CSB. Read about the 2021 challenge here.