This Year's Best Thesis on the Theme “Sustainable Development”

Andrea Čabajová and Jakub Košík are this year’s winners of the award for the best thesis on the theme sustainable development. This award is handed out on a yearly basis to students at Dalarna University. The winners receive a travel grant of 10 000 SEK.
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Andrea and Jakub are students in the Master’s Programme in Business Studies with an International Focus at Dalarna University. In their thesis, Andrea and Jakub examined the sustainable aesthetics of packaging material according to customer preferences in Slovakia, which is a low environmental-performance-index (EPI) country in the European Union.

– Society is currently facing many environmental problems, one of which is the issue of plastic packaging that is manufactured every day in massive amounts. Because of this, we wanted to come up with more creative ideas about how to package products. Our focus was on recycled paper as this material does not burden nature in the same way that other more frequently used materials do. However, the problem with this material is that it is seldom visually appealing to consumers, which is why we wanted to make it attractive. Our results provide guidelines for making this material more appealing using graphic, structural and information elements.

How would you like to see the results of your thesis used in the future? Who do you think can benefit from the conclusions you arrived at?

– We truly hope that our thesis will bring about more discussion on the issue of plastics and that businesses will take steps to limit their usage. With our thesis, we want to address graphic designers, entrepreneurs as well as business leaders, and we aim to inspire firms to develop and use innovative and sustainable packaging that contributes to a sustainable future.

How will you use the scholarship?

– We would like to use the scholarship to attend an environmental conference related to sustainable packaging and its future so that we can acquire more information and knowledge in this area. We also believe this to be an opportunity that can help us meet new people who have the same interests and who want to contribute to a better future just as we do.

Deciding on the winning entry was a jury made up of members from Dalarna University’s Sustainable Development Council. The reason for their decision was based on the following:

"Andrea Čabajová and Jakub Košík’s thesis studies the sustainable aesthetics of packaging material according to customer preferences in Slovakia, which is a low environmental-performance-index (EPI) country in the European Union. Along with the unique knowledge contribution to research on sustainable development, their results have the potential to positively influence businesses transitioning to a more sustainable product and, in a secondary sense, within a sustainable supply chain. The research also offers several benefits to society, but perhaps the major benefits are in the contribution of the study to attractiveness in relation to recycled-product packaging and the provision of accurate and appealing sustainability information to the consumer."

Here you can read the Master’s Thesis

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