KPMG-RSM Sustainability Master Thesis Award

KPMG-RSM Sustainability Master Thesis Award

A highlight of the RSM Sustainability Forum is the presentation of the KPMG-RSM Sustainability Master Thesis Award. For the 11th year, KPMG has sponsored and awarded a recent RSM master graduate, the annual Sustainability Master Thesis award; honouring research that combines academic excellence and business relevance related to the management of sustainability. The award is a cash prize of €1,000, and the runner-up receives €500.

Award Criteria

To qualify for the KPMG-RSM Sustainability Master Thesis Award, each thesis subject must be related to social and ecological sustainability, and have achieved a mark of at least 8.5 during its defence. Theses from the past academic year are reviewed; an RSM panel arrives at a shortlist of five theses chosen for a combination of academic excellence, socio-environmental impact, business relevance and originality. The final winner is determined by a select jury of external leaders working in the field of corporate sustainability.

2017 Winner: Angelos Tsereklas-Zafeirakis

Thesis title: Variable-rate Pricing of Electric Vehicle Charging; Exploring consumer behaviour using TamagoCar app

Angelos’ drive towards sustainability is evident throughout his academic and professional career. Following his Master in Mechanical Engineering from the Technical University of Athens (2013) (during which his work on Green Innovation in Shipping was published in international journals and presented at conferences), and an exchange semester at the Technical University of Munich, Angelos started the RSM MSc in Business Administration and Management (2015-2016). In order to translate his research activity into tangible societal impact, Angelos took a Business Innovation Internship in Eneco, where he contributed to the smart connection of renewable energy with the automotive industry. Since 2016, Angelos has been part of the prestigious Graduate Development Programme in Global Supply Chain Management at Toyota Motors Europe.

2017 Runner-Up: Florian Böhm

Thesis title: The grain of the gods against poverty

Florian is a purpose-driven and internationally-oriented cum laude graduate of the RSM MSc in Global Business and Sustainability (2015-2016), for which he acted as Master Ambassador and Class Representative, and as a volunteer member of KPMG Sustainability Thesis Award committee. He took his BSc in Business Administration at WWU Münster (2015) with an ICS Additional Diploma in Business Ethics (2015). During his time at RSM Florian co-founded several sustainability initiatives, including Erasmus Sustainability Days. Florian was formerly part of Institut Cultura 21, spreading his passion for sustainability. In the role as Co-Organiser and Fundraiser, he was active in helping to clear cars from the inner city of Cologne to make space for sustainable initiatives. Florian will soon start in the position of Business Development Manager in the Graduate Program of the global business and technology leader Cognizant.

Nominee: Adèle Berthelot

Thesis title: Supply Chain Collaboration and Environmental Performance. A study of Connekt Lean & Green

Adèle Berthelot grew up in Brussels where she obtained the European Baccalaureate. She then pursued the Bachelor in International Business Administration at RSM, and graduated from RSM’s MSc in Global Business and Sustainability (Cum laude) and MSc in Supply Chain Management (2015-2016). She wrote her second Master thesis during her research internship at Connekt, a Dutch network organisation focused on logistics and environmental sustainability, and creator of the Lean & Green certification. Adèle was a co-founder of the Erasmus Sustainability Hub, amongst other extracurricular activities during her years at RSM. Adèle recently started working as a Supply Chain Consultant at ToolsGroup, one of the most experienced providers of demand analytics, inventory optimisation, and supply chain planning software, in Barcelona.

Nominee: Patrizia Fazli

Thesis title: Sustainability marketing communication in the beauty industry

After finishing her bachelor of business administration at the University of Manheim in Germany, Patrizia Fazli decided to pursue RSM’s MSc in Marketing Management from which she graduated cum laude. She has always had a strong passion for marketing and the beauty industry. She completed a sixth-month product marketing internship at L’Oréal in Germany. Patrizia then became a research assistant for the marketing research department at RMIT University Melbourne, where she contributed to research about how brand structure influences organisational performance. Based on her personal interest and experience, the focus of her thesis lies on sustainability marketing communication in the beauty industry. Now, Patrizia is a junior product manager at L’Oréal in Germany.

Nominee: Jonas Flake

Thesis title: Enabling Radical Sustainability-Oriented Innovation in Large Firms

Jonas is a cum laude graduate of the RSM MSc International Management/CEMS programme (2014-2016). During his exchange period at Keio University in Japan, he was appointed CEMS Head Ambassador. Jonas’s fascination for technology and innovation led him to pursue a business internship at the European Space Agency in Germany and a research internship at Head Communications in The Hague during his studies; while his already-strong interest in sustainability and global affairs was further sparked by RSM’s engaging Climate Change Strategy course, taught by Dr. Steve Kennedy. Jonas is currently working as a Consultant at the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok, Thailand.

Read about last year's award winner and nominees here.