Today’s student innovators are tomorrow’s green business leaders. MBA students at the Boston College Carroll School of Management participated in a challenge to create a win-win green business idea for Verizon. The business idea must be both beneficial to the environment and to Verizon. More than 100 students in a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) course participated and the winning idea was a recyclable phone that comes with a special environmental add-on package.

Recyclable cell phones aren’t new but the winning team, comprised of students Aaron Copeland, Jian Kang, Faht Latif, Rich Lemerise, and Krista Zundl, proposed a special Green Alerts package. The package would relay breaking environmental news, updates on environmental issues, and eco-educational information to Verizon customers. Environmental awareness is a hot button topic – the more we know about climate change and the effect that our carbon footprint has on the environment, the better we can respond and react.

Although the recyclable cell phone plus green alert package was the winning idea, two other ideas were named finalists in the challenge. The first was an awareness campaign to inform teenagers about the dangers of texting while driving. The other finalist was an easy-to-use phone with a GPS tracking device designed for use by individuals with autism.

As the mother of two children on the autism spectrum, I was excited to see that not only did the students in the program come up with such a great idea but also that Verizon honored the idea by naming it as a finalist. My two are still young and both are prone to bolting from time-to-time and so I’m constantly diligent when we’re out.

However, as they get older and begin to explore the world a bit more, I’m going to have to find a different solution. Perhaps Verizon will research this idea and bring it to market in the coming years.

Photo: evelynishere

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