All Case Studies

Amanco: Developing the Sustainability Scorecard

Company: Amanco
Publisher: Harvard
Call Number: 9-107-038
Year Published: 2008

The case describes the challenges of using the Balanced Scorecard to implement a triple-bottom-line strategy for delivering excellent economic, environmental, and social performance. The owners and senior executive team of Amanco, a producer of plastic pipe and complete water treatment systems, want strong financial returns but are also deeply committed to improving the environment and making a difference in people's lives. Robert Salas, CEO, wants a management system that communicates and motivates Amanco's three high-level goals.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
How can Amanco develop and implement an effective measuring stick for its sustainability that will lead to effective managerial strategies?

Website where case study can be found:
http://cb.hbsp.harvard.edu/cb/web/product_detail.seam?E=1596&R=107038-PDF-ENG&conversationId=1790366


Applied Sustainability LLC: Making a Business Case for By-Product Synergy

Company: Applied Sustainability LLC
Publisher: Stanford
Call Number: E-118
Year Published: 2006

Environmental entrepreneur Andrew Mangan promoted by-product synergy (BPS) programs as a means to achieve sustainable development goals. BPS is a process that helps companies discover new ways to convert their wastes into saleable commodities. Mangan's goals were twofold: to promote wider adoption of BPS programs and to create a business out of helping companies adopt such programs.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
Is it a good time for Mangan to reinvest in Applied Sustainability?

Website where case study can be found:
http://cb.hbsp.harvard.edu/cb/web/product_detail.seam?E=65262&R=E118-PDF-ENG&conversationId=107743


Banco Solidario: The Business of Microfinance

Company: Banco Solidario
Publisher: Harvard
Call Number: 9-702-019
Year Published: 2002

This case examines the founding and evolution of a for-profit microlending organization in Bolivia. It explores the mechanics of microlending, nonprofit and for-profit approaches to serving the informal sector, and how the industry evolves over a 15-year period.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
How can Banco Solidario adjust its strategies for the current environment?

Website where case study can be found:
http://cb.hbsp.harvard.edu/cb/web/product_detail.seam?E=43095&R=702019-PDF-ENG&conversationId=107538


Business Model Innovation by Better Place--A Green Ecosystem for the Mass Adoptions of Electric Cars

Company: Better Place
Publisher: Oikos
Call Number: N/A
Year Published: 2010

Shai Agassi started Better Place with the ambition of setting up an ecosystem – including a ‘smart grid’ of charging stations and battery swapping facilities – for electric vehicles. This ecosystem was expected to eliminate the barriers to the mass adoption of electric cars for personal transportation. This case discusses the innovative business model of Better Place, which proposed to offer transportation services to consumers through miles per month subscription plans, with the cost of the electric car being subsidized based on the tenure of the plan.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
How does Better Place make the electric car more relevant and viable?

Website where case study can be found:
http://www.oikos-international.org/academic/case-collection/inspection-copies/alphabetical-list/better-place.html


Mobility Innovation for a Better Place (A)

Company: Better Place
Publisher: INSEAD
Call Number: 809-040-1
Year Published: 2009

In 2007, Shai Agassi raised $200 million to launch Better Place. By deploying a network of charge spots, switch stations and systems that optimised the use of electric vehicles, the company had the potential to become a major player in the transport industry. To succeed, however, it had to overcome major implementation challenges, among them the need to achieve a minimum level of standardisation for the interface between vehicles and the recharging grid, and the continuous need to finance its market expansion. The case allows students to explore: (1) how an innovative business model has the potential to create new market space and reduce environmental impacts; (2) the emergence of cross-industry reconfigurations for a low-carbon economy; and (3) the commercial risks of sustainability-driven business in the realm of transportation.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
the commercial risks of sustainability-driven business in the realm of transportation.

Website where case study can be found:
http://www.caseplace.org/d.asp?d=5096


Burt's Bees: Leaving the hive

Company: Burt's Bees
Publisher: Harvard
Call Number: 9-507-017
Year Published: 2007

Rapid growth is pushing Burt's Bees' natural personal care products into mass distribution channels, with products and brand elements that are less quirky, more commercial than they used to be. Can Burt's Bees become the "Starbucks of personal care" without distancing itself too much from the people, values, and narratives that have made the brand successful thus far?

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
Can Burt's Bees become the “Starbucks of personal care” without distancing itself too much from the people, values, and narratives that have made the brand successful thus far?

Website where case study can be found:
http://cb.hbsp.harvard.edu/cb/web/product_detail.seam?E=31390&R=507017-PDF-ENG&conversationId=104171


Cisco's Vision: A Smart+Connected World

Company: Cisco
Publisher: Ivey
Call Number: 9B13M116
Year Published: 2013

Having been called upon by global leaders to use its technology to address the global crises of climate change and poverty, Cisco opts to pursue sustainability for corporate social responsibility and as a driver of differentiation and competitive advantage. The case discussion explores how the company answered this call to action and how the resulting strategies have proven effective in protecting its competitive advantage in an increasingly hostile business environment. With the introduction of its new and ground-breaking technology, Cisco seeks to drive sustainability and future profits. The question becomes: will it work? The CEO ponders how he could use his company’s core business of information technology (IT) to drive global environmental and economic sustainability. Can he fulfill his dual responsibility of doing the right thing for his shareholders while, at the same time, doing the right thing for the world at large?

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
How can solving global problems can create advantages for companies and become a source of innovation? Is Cisco is actually helping the world address issues such as climate change and poverty reduction or is it just trying to sell product? Will smart cities and ICT technologies deliver on their promise to both shareholders and stakeholders?

Website where case study can be found:
https://www.iveycases.com/ProductView.aspx?id=60638


Clarke: Transformation for Environmental Sustainability

Company: Clarke
Publisher: Ivey
Call Number: 9B12C012
Year Published: 2012

Clarke, a pesticide-selling company, has a core business that is environmentally harmful by its very nature. Its journey to sustainability faced unique challenges even when innovation led to new green products, processes, technologies and business models. As such, its leadership had to cope with the overwhelming task of engaging both its employees and customers in the idea that sustainability can be effective and profitable.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
How does a company overcome the challenges involved in acquiring the necessary buy-in from employees and customers who are skeptical about environmental sustainability as a potential driver of business strategy?

Website where case study can be found:
https://www.iveycases.com/ProductView.aspx?id=53788


Sustainability Amidst Uncertainty--Columbia Forest Products' Pursuit of Sustainability in a Changing Market

Company: Columbia Forest Products
Publisher: Oikos
Call Number: N/A
Year Published: 2009

From its humble beginnings as a small shuttered plywood mill, Columbia Forest Products has grown to be one of the largest players in the U.S. hardwood plywood products market. This case follows the company’s introduction of a new sustainable plywood product in an extremely competitive and economically challenging market place.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
Should Columbia go ahead with its sustainability theme? Will introduction of PureBond be a feasible option?

Website where case study can be found:
http://www.oikos-international.org/academic/case-collection/inspection-copies/alphabetical-list/columbia-forest-products.html


Deja Shoe (A)

Company: Deja shoe
Publisher: World Resources Institute
Call Number: N/A
Year Published: 1996

Deja Shoe’s founder and new management team wanted to develop a business strategy based on pro-environment principles that would enable the firm to out-compete established industry players Nike and Timberland.?

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
How does a small start up company create environmental footwear?

Website where case study can be found:
http://pdf.wri.org/bell/case_1-56973-137-3_full_version_a_english.pdf


Du Pont Freon Products Division (A)

Company: Du Pont
Publisher: Harvard
Call Number: 9-389-111
Year Published: 1995

In 1988, the Du Pont Co. is abruptly confronted with solid scientific evidence that chlorofluorocarbons are destroying the earth's ozone shield. Du Pont, with its Freon brand product line, was the world's leading producer of these chemicals and had to decide what to do. The purpose of the case is to examine how changing science and environmental problems affect competitive conditions and corporate strategy. In particular, the case examines the criteria by which companies formulate policy.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
What should DuPont do about mounting concerns and legal actions pertaining to the use of Freon and other CFCs in its products

Website where case study can be found:
http://cb.hbsp.harvard.edu/cb/web/product_detail.seam?E=21813&R=389111-PDF-ENG&conversationId=106150


A Model of Clean Energy Entrepreneurship in Africa: E+Co's Path to Scale

Company: E+Co
Publisher: Ivey
Call Number: 907M59
Year Published: 2009

The founder and executive director of E+Co faces the challenge of ten-fold growth and reviews the core parts of the company's innovative business model, the changes in the energy markets around the world, and the rationale for local solutions to energy scarcity and inefficiency. Also presented is a set of entrepreneurial growth strategies that preserve the core of the model - i.e., simultaneously tackling energy poverty and energy waste, and bringing people up the energy ladder with locally suitable and affordable solutions.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
challenge of ten-fold growth and reviews the core parts of the company's innovative business model, the changes in the energy markets around the world, and the rationale for local solutions to energy scarcity and inefficiency

Website where case study can be found:
http://cb.hbsp.harvard.edu/cb/web/product_detail.seam?E=59126&R=907M59-PDF-ENG&conversationId=108186


Ecovative Design LLC: A Biological Materials Startup

Company: Ecovative Design LLC
Publisher: Ivey
Call Number: 9B13M125
Year Published: 2013

Ecovative Designs (Ecovative), a start-up company in upstate New York, uses an innovative process to combine agricultural waste and mycelium (mushroom “roots”) to grow forms for use in a wide variety of applications, especially a protective packaging material. Not only does this new product replace the need for the environmentally harmful alternative, extruded polystyrene, but the production process is less energy intensive. It exemplifies the cradle-to-cradle design indicative of a sustainably embedded product and attractive to companies looking to reduce their carbon footprint. In 2013, the partners are considering whether to sign a contract with Sealed Air, one of the largest distributors of packaging materials in the world, but the deal would mean relinquishing control over the only profitable segment of their company. They are considering alternative growth strategies to find the one that fits best with their goal: to have the largest impact on the planet while remaining profitable.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
How can a start-up’s radical sustainability innovation be scaled up (and with who) to meet both the founders’ needs for financial viability and to achieve significant environmental impact?

Website where case study can be found:
https://www.iveycases.com/ProductView.aspx?id=60902


Fairmount Minerals

Company: Fairmount Minerals
Publisher: Ivey
Call Number: 9B11M059
Year Published: 2011

Fairmount Minerals, a producer of industrial sand, is an excellent example of a company that adopted a holistic approach to sustainable development. In 2005, CEO and sustainability champion, Chuck Fowler challenged the mining industry’s undesirable reputation by bringing together both shareholders and stakeholders around the three broad themes of people, planet and prosperity. Innovative practices were then embedded into every step along the value chain, from mine acquisition to end product to land restoration. Doing so did not only bring great benefit to the people and to the planet, but it also brought with it a competitive advantage to the company itself.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
How can a company maintain its competitive advantage and personal growth as well as continue to meet to stakeholders’ needs while upholding its mission of best standards and collaborative efforts with other companies in the field?

Website where case study can be found:
https://www.iveycases.com/ProductView.aspx?id=51418


Ford Motor Company: New Shades of Green Through Soy Foam

Company: Ford Motor Company
Publisher: Ivey
Call Number: 9B13M109
Year Published: 2013

Ford Motor Co. develops and commercializes a green technology that replaces a traditional and scarce resource with an abundant bio-material. The pilot project becomes hugely successful, and, within the company, the idea of expanding the use of bio-material gains considerable momentum, but implementation and customer acceptance prove to be a challenge. Two members from the company’s research and engineering division work together to overcome these obstacles and move the company toward a vision of sustainability that involves more than just fuel economy and cost reduction.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
What are the challenges faced by internal change agents of sustainability projects in their efforts to initiate and grow these projects throughout a large organization? How should these change agents manage the nuances of implementation once the advantages and disadvantages of such a “green” innovation have been determined?

Website where case study can be found:
https://www.iveycases.com/ProductView.aspx?id=60433


The Freeplay Energy Group and Foundation

Company: Freeplay Energy Goup
Publisher: IESE Business School
Call Number: 0-305-005
Year Published: 2004

The Freeplay Energy Group was founded in 1995 to produce wind up radios. It took its social responsibilities seriously from the beginning and in 1998 founded the Freeplay Foundation to enable the sustained delivery of radio information and education to the most vulnerable populations via self-powered radios. At the beginning of 2004 The Freeplay Energy Group and the Freeplay Foundation faced important decisions about their future to ensure the future growth and sustainability of both organizations.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
How can FEG continue to expand and deal with lack of capital to introduce new products while balancing the interests of its Foundation?

Website where case study can be found:
http://www.caseplace.org/d.asp?d=422


GOJO Industries: Aiming for Global Sustainability Leadership

Company: GOJO Industries
Publisher: Ivey
Call Number: 9B13M108
Year Published: 2013

GOJO Industries, a U.S.-based hand hygiene company, plans to use sustainability as a business strategy in its big hairy audacious goal of reaching one billion people every day by 2020. It uses a six level framework to embed sustainability in every aspect of its business internally and externally. The company has a long history of using sustainability to drive innovation and facilitate expansion into new markets and sees sustainability as a key differentiator from its competitors to achieve its goal. In order to so, the company must also consider the importance of employee engagement in order to further embed sustainability and increase the number of people it reaches with its products.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
For a company pursuing sustainability leadership with a visionary BHAG, how might it engage employees more deeply in the pursuit of such outcomes in ways that are both good for society and the environment and good for customers and the business? What would make it possible for every employee to be even more inspired and authentically engaged in the kind of creativity and innovation that will be needed for the company to achieve its goals?

Website where case study can be found:
https://www.iveycases.com/ProductView.aspx?id=60429


Good Health: Making Medicine Work for a Sustainable Future

Company: Good Health
Publisher: ESMT
Call Number: 705-0036-1
Year Published: 2008

The case study analyzes the project 'Integrating Sustainable Development in Industrial Operations and Environment' at Good Health, a research-based international pharmaceutical company. Maintaining a strong reputation in sustainability issues has become a growing concern within the pharmaceutical branch. The case explores the different challenges and obstacles the project team is facing during the different project phases in trying to expand and implement a new sustainability program at Good Health.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
How to integrate sustainability into the business strategy?

Website where case study can be found:
http://www.caseplace.org/d.asp?d=3748


Revolution of the rubber recycling business

Company: Green Rubber
Publisher: ACRC
Call Number: N/A
Year Published: 2009

Dedicated to offering high-tech solutions for environmental and social problems, a privately-owned Malaysian conglomerate, Petra Group, aimed to innovate the recycling of rubber waste. Since the 1990s, the group had tried to transform rubber waste using its patented DeLink technology to produce reusable rubber, which it branded as Green Rubber. Despite failing to make a sound industrial impact with the technology in the mid-1990s, the company wanted to reintroduce the eco-friendly solution in the new millennium.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
How could GRG run a business successfully by also aiming at sustainable environment and social progress?

Website where case study can be found:
http://cb.hbsp.harvard.edu/cb/web/product_detail.seam?E=1276171&R=HKU835-PDF-ENG&conversationId=105524


Environmental Product Differentiation by the Hayward Lumber Company

Company: Hayward Lumber Company
Publisher: Stanford
Call Number: OIT-38
Year Published: 2003

The case traces the greening of Hayward Lumber Company, a family-owned company based in California. As an initial step toward serving an environmentally focused market niche, the firm began selling Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certified Lumber to meet a growing demand for green building materials in California’s central coast market. The company found that while supplying FSC wood afforded entry into the green builder market, horizontal expansion into higher margin green building materials created a greater opportunity for revenue enhancement.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
What should HLC do about potential sustainable investment opportunities?

Website where case study can be found:
http://www.oikos-international.org/academic/case-collection/inspection-copies/alphabetical-list/hayward-lumber-company.html


Honey Care Africa: A Tripartite Model for Sustainable Beekeeping

Company: Honey Care Africa
Publisher: Ivey
Call Number: 9B07M060
Year Published: 2009

The director and co-founder of Honey Care Africa (Honey Care) looks back over the six years of operations and describes the original business model and several sequential changes based on feedback from rural communities, partner organizations, and learning by doing through field operations. The case tackles alternative routes for scaling up the model in East Africa. Students are presented with several specific challenges which illustrate the growing tension between Honey Care's original commitment to the farmers and its prospects for international take-off, and are asked to propose alternative model reconfigurations to resolve this tension.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
Potential opportunities and challenges in replicating the Honey Care model elsewhere

Website where case study can be found:
http://caseplace.org/d.asp?d=358


IDEAAS and PSA: Replication in the Amazon

Company: IDEAAS and PSA
Publisher: Stanford
Call Number: E-264
Year Published: 2007

The case describes two social ventures' experience of collaborating with each other through a replication project. Each venture served different purposes: IDEAAS installed and operated alternative solar energy equipment in locations without access to Brazil's electricity grid, and Saude & Alegria educated populations in the Brazilian Amazon jungle on matters of health, environment conservation, and self-sustainable wealth generation. It highlights the core success factors that possibly led to the project's ultimate outcomes.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
Students can debate and discuss as to what factors led to this success

Website where case study can be found:
http://cb.hbsp.harvard.edu/cb/web/product_detail.seam?E=65501&R=E264-PDF-ENG&conversationId=235657


Impact Makers

Company: Impact Makers
Publisher: Darden (UVA)
Call Number: UV1042
Year Published: 2009

Michael Pirron was a health care services consultant who had always dreamed of starting a "Nonprofit Competitive Business" with a social mission. In 2006, he launched Impact Makers, a new hybrid entity that crossed the nonprofit/for-profit lines. Impact Makers had several unique components: It would contribute strategic consulting, and all profits, to charitable community organizations; there was no stock and equity ownership; it had a volunteer board of directors and its financial information was open to the public. How would Impact Makers raise investment capital with its unique organizational structure? And how would the company survive?

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
How would Impact Makers get more customers, revenue, business etc?

Website where case study can be found:
http://cb.hbsp.harvard.edu/cb/web/product_detail.seam?E=1044154&R=UV1042-PDF-ENG&conversationId=236746


Interface’s Evergreen Services Agreement

Company: Interface, Inc.
Publisher: Harvard
Call Number: 9-603-112
Year Published: 2003

In an attempt to reduce its ecological footprint, Interface Americas, a leading manufacturer of commercial carpet tile, has launched the Evergreen Services Agreement (ESA)--a lease agreement that provides would-be carpet purchasers with comprehensive floor-covering services (color, texture, warmth, beauty, acoustics, and safety). Under ESA, Interface retains ownership of all carpet material, thereby ensuring proper recycling. Despite active media attention and a lot of interested calls from potential buyers, Interface is having difficulty selling ESA. CEO Dan Hendrix is at a crossroad and must decide whether to continue support for ESA or to focus on other initiatives.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
How can the ESA program be successful at getting people to lease carpet rather than buy it so as to ensure its proper recycling?

Website where case study can be found:
http://cb.hbsp.harvard.edu/cb/web/product_detail.seam?E=36775&R=603112-PDF-ENG&conversationId=107157


Kimpton Hotels: Balancing Strategy and Environmental Sustainability

Company: Kimpton Hotels
Publisher: Oikos
Call Number: N/A
Year Published: 2006

Michael Pace faced a dilemma. He was determined to help the boutique hotel chain "walk the talk" regarding its commitment to environmental responsibility, but he also had agreed not to introduce any new products or processes that would be more expensive than those they replaced. Now that the first phase of the program had been implemented nationwide, he and the company's team of "eco-champions" were facing some difficult challenges with the rollout of the second, more ambitious, phase.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
Products considered for phase 2 of operations would require additional budget to mark total transition to an environment friendly hotel.

Website where case study can be found:
http://www.oikos-international.org/academic/case-collection/inspection-copies/alphabetical-list/kimpton-hotels.html


Kiva vs MYC4-Business Model Innovation in Social Lending

Company: Kiva, MYC4
Publisher: INSEAD, ECCH
Call Number: 809-024-1
Year Published: 2009

The case describes the launch, growth and current challenges of two innovative ventures in the nascent social lending market. Kiva is based on good-will while MYC4 is based on market incentives. Which model is more likely to succeed?

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
Which model is more likely to succeed?

Website where case study can be found:
http://www.caseplace.org/d.asp?d=4353


La Vaca Independiente: Should a Social Enterprise Adopt a For-Profit Business Model?

Company: La Vaca Independiente
Publisher: Ivey
Call Number: 9B13C033
Year Published: 2013

This case presents a social enterprise considering whether a for-profit model might be an effective way to scale its impact. Mexico City-based La Vaca Independiente (The Independent Cow) was founded to bring art to underprivileged children. The founder observed that many global problems are caused by humanity’s increasing state of isolation, with individuals disconnected from the planet and from each other. La Vaca focused exclusively on a program called Developing Intelligence through Art (DIA). Using artwork as a stimulus for thought and discussion, DIA provided individuals with opportunities to develop meaning in their lives. She believed, based on evidence that companies lose annual revenue due to the effects of isolationism on their employees, that she and her team could pursue a for-profit business model in order to expose La Vaca to markets and opportunities inaccessible to a charitable organization.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
What was La Vaca's value proposition? Was it to expand the original DIA model, which had already proven to be successful, or should it attempt to expand into markets other than education? Would it be better to stay true to its original model at a small scale or to branch out and risk the integrity of the program? What internal changes might they need to make in order to become profitable?

Website where case study can be found:
https://www.iveycases.com/ProductView.aspx?id=60289


Living Homes

Company: Living Homes
Publisher: Oikos
Call Number: N/A
Year Published: 2008

Steve Glenn, a successful internet start-up entrepreneur, returned to his love of architecture and commitment to sustainability by creating a company that would provide signature, green, prefabricated homes to the “cultural creative” market. The case outlines the state of both the housing industry and the green building industry in 2007.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
Can Living Homes merge prefabrication, green and high end in the housing market?

Website where case study can be found:
http://www.oikos-international.org/academic/case-collection/inspection-copies/alphabetical-list/living-homes.html


Towards a Sustainable Model and Ecological Integrity in South Africa

Company: Londolozi - KNP
Publisher: Harvard
Call Number: 9-709-001
Year Published: 2008

The Londolozi game viewing reserve in South Africa became a defining icon of ecotourism during the 1990s and early 2000s--that is, a tourist business promoting ecological land management and, at the same time, local economic development. The Sabi Sand Game reserve (within which Londolozi was located) was initially created by the government to provide hunters with an area in which to hunt wildlife. Through the 1980s and 1990s, the farms within the Sabi Sand Game reserve converted their functions from hunting to wildlife viewing, and the fence was taken down.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
The new challenge for the farms while transforming into wildlife viewing became land management and local economic development

Website where case study can be found:
http://cb.hbsp.harvard.edu/cb/web/product_detail.seam?E=46698&R=709001-PDF-ENG&conversationId=107842


Corporate Citizenship and Sustainable Community Development: Fostering Multi-Sector Collaboration in Magadi Division in Kenya

Company: Magadi Soda Company
Publisher: ICCSR
Call Number: N/A
Year Published: 2007

This paper explores Magadi Soda Company’s efforts to initiate a multi-sector collaboration to facilitate sustainable community development in Magadi division in Kenya. A narrative is presented of the process that led to the design of a community development plan intended to be the development blueprint guiding all actors (non-governmental organisations, the community, the government and Magadi Soda Company) operating in Magadi division.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
How to tackle complex social problems of deprived communities?

Website where case study can be found:
http://caseplace.org/d.asp?d=5437


Manila Water Company

Company: Manila Water Co.
Publisher: Harvard
Call Number: 9-508-004
Year Published: 2007

In 1997, the Philippines government privatized its water utility in the metropolitan Manila area. The East Zone concession was won by Manila Water Company and the West Zone concession by Maynilad Water Services. Over the next decade, Manila Water turned in an impressive and profitable performance, while Maynilad failed.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
The opportunity to own the West concession

Website where case study can be found:
http://cb.hbsp.harvard.edu/cb/search/manila%2520water%2520company?Ntk=HEMainSearch&N=0


Sustainability at Millipore

Company: Millipore
Publisher: Harvard
Call Number: 9-610-012
Year Published: 2009

This case describes Millipore Corporation's approach to becoming a more environmentally sustainable company. The Director of Sustainability needed to recommend whether the company should purchase carbon offsets to help meet its aggressive greenhouse gas reduction targets, and whether to continue publicly reporting its greenhouse gas emissions and strategies despite recent problems. On a more strategic level, he needed to recommend how to take the company's Sustainability Initiative to the next level and consider whether changes were needed to its organizational structure.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
How to develop a more systematic approach to prioritizing investments in various projects being proposed to improve environmental performance?

Website where case study can be found:
http://cb.hbsp.harvard.edu/cb/web/product_detail.seam?E=1051151&R=610012-PDF-ENG&conversationId=235887


Molten Metal Technology (A)

Company: Molten Metal Technology
Publisher: Boston University
Call Number: 99-03A
Year Published: 1999

Just six years after its founding in 1989, Molten Metal Technology Inc. (MMT) was on the verge of huge successes. The company had successfully developed an exciting new technology, catalytic extraction processing (CEP) that would not only break down hazardous and radioactive wastes into benign forms but also recycle them back into marketable products. This new technology had great potential but the growth strategy was critical.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
How can a small start up company go about commercializing a revolutionary technology?

Website where case study can be found:
http://webuser.bus.umich.edu/ajhoff/teaching_cases/MMT%20(A)%20Case.pdf


Novo Nordisk A/S – Integrating Sustainability into Business Practice

Company: Novo Nordisk
Publisher: ECCH, EABS
Call Number: N/A
Year Published: 2008

Novo Nordisk is an excellent example of an organization that attempts to consider sustainability as an integrated part of its strategy and in all of its business decisions. To meet this goal, the company has adopted a management philosophy which they call the ‘Novo Nordisk Way of Management’ to ensure all actions taken by employees meet corporate objectives. However, it is not certain to what extent this is effective in influencing behavior at the operational level.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
Will the Novo Nordisk Way of Management be successful at the operational level?

Website where case study can be found:
http://www.caseplace.org/d.asp?d=3840


OQOQO: Socially Conscious Fashions

Company: OQOQO
Publisher: Ivey
Call Number: 9B06A023
Year Published: 2006

Chip Wilson started a new streetwear line of apparel that would combine fashion with social consciousness. The apparel sold at OQOQO was made from natural and organic materials, under safe and fair working conditions, and it was produced in a way to reduce environmental impact. There were some problems regarding the sourcing of materials and the customer's perception of certain materials such as soy and hemp. Chip must decide whether to expand the number of OQOQO stores.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
Is expansion of stores needed?

Website where case study can be found:
http://www.caseplace.org/d.asp?d=1147


The Fair Trade Story (A, B, C) (A) The Discovery of Charity Trade; (B) The Foundation of Café Direct; (C) From Charity Spin-off to Gourmet Coffee

Company: OxFam, Cafedirect
Publisher: Oikos
Call Number: N/A
Year Published: 2005

This case traces the evolution of fair trade, from ‘charity trade', i.e. the sale of objects produced in developing countries with little functional value to the sale of functional, and often organic products to developed countries, the increasing role of alternative trade organisations in providing minimum prices, finance, training and other trade ‘premiums’ which are necessary tools for marginal producers to gain access to the global market; the role of consumer support.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
Achieving a balance between market oriented and social/developmental goals

Website where case study can be found:
http://www.oikos-international.org/academic/case-collection/inspection-copies/alphabetical-list/fair-trade-story.html


Patagonia

Company: Patagonia
Publisher: Harvard
Call Number: 9-711-020
Year Published: 2010

Patagonia produces high-quality environmentally friendly garments that command significant price premiums. Its environmental mission motivates it not only to donate to environmental causes and reduce the impact of its own production, but also to share its practices with other companies. In spring 2010, Patagonia was in the process of implementing a new, radical environmental initiative called "Product Lifecycle Initiative" (PLI). It constituted Patagonia's efforts to take responsibility for the products it made, "from birth to death and then beyond death, back to rebirth."

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
How can the company balance profits with a commitment to the environment?

Website where case study can be found:
http://cb.hbsp.harvard.edu/cb/web/product_detail.seam?E=2453174&R=711020-PDF-ENG&conversationId=106245


Procter & Gamble: Children's Safe Drinking Water (A, B)

Company: Procter and Gamble
Publisher: UVA
Call Number: 0315
Year Published: 2008

In 1995, Procter & Gamble (P&G) scientists began researching methods of water treatment for use in communities facing water crises. P&G was interested in bringing industrial-quality water treatment to remote areas worldwide, because the lack of clean water, primarily in developing countries, was alarming. With a long history of scientific research and innovation in health, hygiene, and nutrition, P&G considered ways it could address the safe drinking-water crisis as the new millennium approached.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
How P&G can take the business of pure, clean drinking water to other geographies

Website where case study can be found:
http://cb.hbsp.harvard.edu/cb/web/product_detail.seam?E=1350161&R=UV1160-PDF-ENG&conversationId=87296


Pyramyd Air: Looking through the Scope of Values

Company: Pyramyd Air
Publisher: Ivey
Call Number: 9B13C038
Year Published: 2013

Pyramyd Air, a small and growing online airgun retailer serving the shooting community, wants to broaden its sustainability practices from its current internal initiatives in order to communicate an even stronger value proposition: sustainability isn’t just about recycling and efficiency, it is about a thriving environment leading to more engaged employees and more loyal premium customers. Pyramyd Air recognizes that some sustainability practices are vital to its customers’ long-term enjoyment of a flourishing outdoor sporting industry. 

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
For a company with strong customer relationships but operating in a sector not usually frequented by pro-environment types, can sustainability strengthen the relationship between employees and customers by building on the inherent industry values of the great outdoors and a sense of community? How can the company’s culture and employee perspectives evolve in order to frame sustainability in a new light leading to specific sustainability initiatives that the company could pursue in order to resonate with customers and increase profits?

Website where case study can be found:
https://www.iveycases.com/ProductView.aspx?id=60558


Reciclare: Rethinking the Future

Company: Reciclare
Publisher: SKE
Call Number: SKE-135
Year Published: 2009

In 2006, Reciclare, an association of scavengers of paper, cardboard and reusable materials founded by formerly homeless people from the city of Guariní, celebrated its 16th anniversary. Despite the experience it had gained over this time, its sustainability still faced countless challenges.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
To take part in the public bidding process or not?

Website where case study can be found:
http://cb.hbsp.harvard.edu/cb/web/product_detail.seam?E=1592168&R=SKE135-PDF-ENG&conversationId=105623


Rick Dubrow, A-1 Builders, and Pro-Whatcom

Company: Rick Dubrow and A-1 builders
Publisher: ECCH
Call Number: NAC2516
Year Published: 2005

Rick Dubrow, the owner of A-1 Builders, is faced with a decision that potentially brings his personal values and his business into conflict. Long a proponent of sustainable business practices in the construction industry, Dubrow has made a name for himself and his company. But now his long interest in population issues has led to an interest in becoming a public face of a new organization, Pro-Whatcom, that is pursuing what many people see as an anti-growth agenda.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
Conflict of personal values

Website where case study can be found:
http://www.caseplace.org/d.asp?d=2828


Root Capital

Company: Root Capital
Publisher: Harvard
Call Number: 9-510-035
Year Published: 2009

Founded in 1999, Root Capital had loaned $150 million to nearly 250 small and growing businesses, mainly in Latin America. In 2009, as the organization launched a five-year, $55 million capital campaign, it had to determine a strategic path going forward in keeping with its goal of achieving financial sustainability by 2013.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
How can Root Capital achieve financial sustainability by 2013

Website where case study can be found:
http://cb.hbsp.harvard.edu/cb/web/product_detail.seam?E=1314158&R=510035-PDF-ENG&conversationId=236414


Sanyo's 'Think Gaia' Vision and Turnaround Efforts

Company: Sanyo
Publisher: ICMR, ECCH
Call Number: 307-185-1
Year Published: 2007

Sanyo has been a pioneer in developing alternate energy technologies like solar cells and rechargeable batteries. The case describes the company's 'Think GAIA' vision, the objectives of the vision, and the actions of the company in its efforts to effect a turnaround.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
To make students understand turnaround effects and to understand a need for strong financials for a company that wants to demonstrate CSR

Website where case study can be found:
http://www.caseplace.org/d.asp?d=205


The SEKEM Initiative

Company: SEKEM
Publisher: IESE Business School
Call Number: 0-304-072
Year Published: 2004

Sekem was founded by Ibrahim Abouleish, an Egyptian who had been living, studying and working in Austria prior to his return to Egypt in 1977, the year he established Sekem. In 2003 it consisted of three main parts: the Sekem group of companies, the Egyptian Society for Cultural Development and the Cooperative of Sekem Employees, together employing more than 2,000 people. This case portrays the complex set of circumstances that frames Sekem's decisions to further grow and develop the initiative along its historical path of holistic development in the social, economic and cultural spheres.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
To initiate holistic development able to create economic, social and cultural value in a sustainable manner.

Website where case study can be found:
http://www.caseplace.org/d.asp?d=427


Sensible Life Products (A and B)

Company: Sensible Life Products
Publisher: Ivey
Call Number: 9B09M057
Year Published: 2007

An entrepreneur and chief executive officer (CEO) of Sensible Life Products has developed a revolutionary botanical disinfectant called Benefect, the flagship product of his company. This new product is unique among disinfectant products in that it is non-toxic, unlike the majority of conventional disinfectants containing harmful chemicals, such as ammonia, alcohol and chlorine. As a result of the unique properties of the product, the CEO has received numerous offers to purchase or license the technology and is faced with the decision regarding which offer, if any, he should accept.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
Which offer from outside companies to accept?

Website where case study can be found:
http://www.caseplace.org/d.asp?d=364


Sheaffer International's BOOM Program

Company: Sheaffer International
Publisher: Stanford
Call Number: SM-80
Year Published: 2006

Jack Sheaffer had a unique wastewater treatment system that produced no organic sludge, no odor, and was cheaper than conventional systems. He was worried, however, that his business might suffer if there were a turndown in the marketplace. He wanted a business plan that would insulate him from marketplace shocks and found it with the BOOM program of build, own, operate, and maintain. BOOM put Sheaffer's company in charge of owning and maintaining the wastewater treatment systems designed by the company.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?

Website where case study can be found:
http://cb.hbsp.harvard.edu/cb/web/product_detail.seam?E=73953&R=SM80-PDF-ENG&conversationId=113344


Starbucks and Conservation International

Company: Starbucks
Publisher: Harvard
Call Number: 9-303-055
Year Published: 2004

Starbucks developed a strategic alliance with Conservation International to promote coffee-growing practices of small farms that would protect endangered habitats. The collaboration emerged from the company's corporate social responsibility policies and its coffee procurement strategy. Starbucks was reviewing the future of this alliance and its new coffee procurement guidelines aimed at promoting environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable coffee production.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
How does Starbucks use its alliance with Conservation International to develop its socially and environmentally sustainable coffee system?

Website where case study can be found:
http://cb.hbsp.harvard.edu/cb/web/product_detail.seam?E=15809&R=303055-PDF-ENG&conversationId=1788996


Sustainable Conservation--Where Next?

Company: Sustainable Conservation (SusCon)
Publisher: Harvard
Call Number: 9-304-017
Year Published: 2004

Sustainable Conservation (SusCon) is an environmental nonprofit in San Francisco that works collaboratively with the private and public sectors to achieve positive environmental change. The organization forms partnerships with industry and government agencies to devise solutions to environmental problems that are both economically viable and environmentally beneficial. After 10 years of work focusing exclusively on California, the organization is considering expanding its reach outside the state as a step toward national expansion.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
What issues to consider while thinking of expansion?

Website where case study can be found:
http://cb.hbsp.harvard.edu/cb/web/product_detail.seam?E=15959&R=304017-PDF-ENG&conversationId=237174


Taj Hotels: Building Sustainable Livelihoods

Company: Taj Hotels
Publisher: Ivey
Call Number: 9B13C032
Year Published: 2013

This case explores issues faced by the corporate sustainability manager at the corporate headquarters of a large hotel group in a developing nation as she implements her company’s corporate sustainability strategy through supplier partnerships with bottom-of-the-pyramid (BoP) social organizations. Under the rubric of responsible purchasing, the hotelier’s “Creating Sustainable Livelihoods” initiative engaged cause-based nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) by exploring opportunities where the products or services of such organizations could substitute for similar products or services sourced from for-profit suppliers. 

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
The case illustrates the challenges inherent in a Base-of-the-Pyramid responsible purchasing strategy, including the delicate balance between meeting business objectives while supporting social causes. These challenges revolve around developing and implementing cross-sector partnerships with BoP nonprofit producer organizations in the Indian context. Discussion is likely to center less on differences in partners’ missions, cultures, and long-term objectives, and more on the difficulties present in organizing even when those differences are reconciled, especially through symbiotic long-term objectives.

Website where case study can be found:
https://www.iveycases.com/ProductView.aspx?id=60126


Tennant Company: Can “Chemical-Free” Be a Pathway to Competitive Advantage?

Company: Tennant
Publisher: Ivey
Call Number: 9B12M020
Year Published: 2012

The case of Tennant Company is one that describes a floor-cleaning company that differentiated itself by introducing chemical-free cleaning equipment. Not only did it strategically evolve as an environmentally responsible sustainable business, it also used that same principle to its competitive advantage. By marketing its products as equally effective in performance, competitive in price and “greener” on the environment, the revamp was a success to all involved parties.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
Is a proven ecological innovation without any customer or financial trades-off enough of a business proposition to meet customers’ expectations, investors’ ambitions, and the company’s goals? And if so, where do you draw the line in making superior environmental performance the basis for competitive advantage?

Website where case study can be found:
https://www.iveycases.com/ProductView.aspx?id=53837


TerraMai: Reclaimed Woods from Around the World

Company: Terra Mai
Publisher: Stanford
Call Number: E-192
Year Published: 2005

This case follows the business ventures of former river guides Erika Carpenter and Richard McFarland in the early days of the reclaimed wood industry. Reclaimed wood suppliers mill wood from deconstructed structures--material that typically is burned, sent to landfills, or otherwise wasted--and sell the products to consumers. Beginning in 2003, the partners embarked on an ambitious growth plan with the goal of becoming the No.1 reclaimed wood supplier.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
How to address challenges to the successful partnership?

Website where case study can be found:
http://cb.hbsp.harvard.edu/cb/web/product_detail.seam?E=65361&R=E192-PDF-ENG&conversationId=139632


Sustainability at Tetra Pak: Recycling Post-Consumer Cartons

Company: Tetra Pak
Publisher: Ivey
Call Number: 9B12M069
Year Published: 2012

Tetra Pack India aimed to uphold its image of an environmentally responsible company by meeting its goals for recycling post consumer cartons (PCC). While Tetra Pack’s ‘Renew’, ‘Reduce’, ‘Recycle’, ‘be Responsible’ philosophy succeeded in other regions of the world, the particular geographical, socioeconomic and political climate in India posed various challenges. Tetra Pak India’s team redefined its strategy by forging partnerships and alliances with non-governmental organizations, scrap dealers, rag-pickers, commercial establishments and organizations that champion the cause of the environment.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
With ever-changing mindsets, increasing regulations and growing customer expectations, how can Tetra Pak face the future challenges to ensure that its success from the PCC recycling initiative can be sustained and scaled up?

Website where case study can be found:
https://www.iveycases.com/ProductView.aspx?id=55259


The Ambrose Hotel:Eco-labeling Strategy for Sustainable Lodging

Company: The Ambrose Hotel
Publisher: Oikos
Call Number: N/A
Year Published: 2009

The case traces the story of the Ambrose Hotel, a hotel based in California whose owner has invested in green practices and is interested in pursuing an eco-labeling strategy in order to better communicate her environmental achievements. It emphasises the difference between the adoption of environmental management practices and their communication through eco-labels. It highlights the challenges associated with the use of eco-labels as an environmental differentiation strategy when several emerging eco-labels are in competition.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
How should Ambrose go about convincing customers that they are truly green?

Website where case study can be found:
http://www.oikos-international.org/academic/case-collection/inspection-copies/alphabetical-list/ambrose-hotel.html


Building a Sustainable Venture: TMI's Earth Brick Machine

Company: The Mountain Institute
Publisher: Oikos
Call Number: N/A
Year Published: 2005

The Mountain Institute (TMI), a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organisation, received a patent for a machine that makes environmentally friendly bricks from dirt, allowing for low cost construction of housing and other structures. TMI saw this technology not only as an environmental win but also as a tool for economic development in emerging economies, and as a vehicle for serving the housing needs of the poor at the base of the economic pyramid.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
Should TMI start a for profit business selling its brick making machine?

Website where case study can be found:
http://www.oikos-international.org/academic/case-collection/inspection-copies/alphabetical-list/mountains-institutes-earth-brick-machine.html


Costa Rica's Reputation as Ecotourism Destination at Stake?

Company: The Nation of Costa Rica
Publisher: ECCH
Call Number: 508-103-1
Year Published: 2009

Costa Rica has gained the reputation as a preferred destination for ecotourism. It attracted foreign tourists with its beautiful landscapes and climate, national parks, wildlife refuges, beautiful plants, cloudy and rainy forests, and sky-kissing mountains. In addition, political stability and economic growth helped attract 1.9 million foreign tourists earning an estimated $1.92 billion revenues in 2007. But an increasing tourist flow and foreign direct investment in the real estate sector posed a threat for its ecotourism.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
How can Costa Rica maintain its image as an environmentally rich tourist destination in the world?

Website where case study can be found:
http://www.caseplace.org/d.asp?d=5213


The ReUse People: Turning Scrap into Sales

Company: The ReUse People
Publisher: Oikos
Call Number: N/A
Year Published: 2009

This case discusses The ReUse People, an organisation that specialises in deconstruction of buildings, with the aim of reusing as much of the materials as possible, hence keeping them out of landfill. The organisation is facing a classical growth-related dilemma: should it grow organically, keeping most of the work in-house but hence limiting its growth rate, or should it “franchise” its deconstruction approach by certifying other companies in the deconstruction process? The mission of The ReUse People is squarely environmental, but the organisation is increasingly aiming to provide social benefits too by reaching out to community organisations and providing employment opportunities.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
Which expansion strategy is better for TRP?

Website where case study can be found:
http://www.oikos-international.org/academic/case-collection/inspection-copies/alphabetical-list/reuse-of-people.html


Verne Global: Building a Green Data Center in Iceland

Company: Verne
Publisher: Harvard
Call Number: 9-509-063
Year Published: 2009

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
How can Verne best integrate its Green strategy into its Sales and Marketing message?

Website where case study can be found:
http://cb.hbsp.harvard.edu/cb/web/product_detail.seam?E=823150&R=509063-PDF-ENG&conversationId=139125


Viridity Energy: The Challenge and Opportunity of Promoting Clean Energy Solutions

Company: Viridity Energy, Inc.
Publisher: Ivey
Call Number: 9B12M035
Year Published: 2012

Viridity Energy, a smart grid company, is engaged in sustainability for two reasons. On one hand, it finds profitable opportunities by helping its customers cut energy bills. And on the other hand, it’s getting credit for that environmental responsibility. This case highlights the challenges and opportunities of smart grid companies to promote clean energy solutions, especially the challenge of doing less harm to include progressively greater eco-effectiveness in competitive markets.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
Will consuming fewer ‘dirty’ watts be enough of an objective in a future facing rising societal expectations and competitors offering similar benefits?

Website where case study can be found:
https://www.iveycases.com/ProductView.aspx?id=54018


Wal-Mart's Sustainability Strategy

Company: WalMart
Publisher: Stanford
Call Number: OIT-71
Year Published: 2007

In October 2005, in an auditorium filled to capacity in Bentonville, Arkansas, Lee Scott, WalMart's president and CEO, made the first speech in the history of WalMart to be broadcast to the company's 1.6 million associates (employees) in all of its 6,000+ stores worldwide and shared with its 60,000+ suppliers. Scott announced that WalMart was launching a sweeping business sustainability strategy to dramatically reduce the company's impact on the global environment and thus become "the most competitive and innovative company in the world." He argued that, "Being a good steward of the environment and being profitable are not mutually exclusive. They are one and the same."

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
Decision to make sustainability an important part of walMarts operations

Website where case study can be found:
http://cb.hbsp.harvard.edu/cb/web/product_detail.seam?E=70273&R=OIT71-PDF-ENG&conversationId=138822


Waste Concern

Company: Waste Concern
Publisher: Stanford
Call Number: SI-71
Year Published: 2006

Iftekhar Enayetullah and Maqsood Sinha, co-founders of Waste Concern in Bangladesh, had earned an international reputation for their innovative approach to dealing with the vast quantities of waste that threatened to overwhelm the overcrowded city of Dhaka. Having just been recognized by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship as "outstanding social entrepreneurs," the two were eager to take Waste Concern to the next level. Their ambitions included scaling up their waste processing operations, introducing new technology, and creating a new trading business selling credits for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions under the framework develop by the Kyoto Protocol.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
To take decisions consistent with Kyoto-protocol related projects

Website where case study can be found:
http://cb.hbsp.harvard.edu/cb/web/product_detail.seam?E=73291&R=SI71-PDF-ENG&conversationId=112906


Woolworths SA: Making Sustainability Sustainable

Company: Woolworths
Publisher: ECCH
Call Number: 209-040-1
Year Published: 2009

In February 2009, Justin Smith, Manager of the Good business journey at Woolworths, a leading South African department store, was a worried man. Woolworths had launched its five-year sustainability strategy just under two years before. After undertaking an impact assessment, Smith was concerned that the original targets had been set without a clear understanding of exactly what it would take to achieve them. If the sustainability goals were not reached, Woolworths could lose credibility among its shareholders, staff and consumers.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
What did Woolworths need to do to ensure that it achieved its sustainability goals?

Website where case study can be found:
http://www.caseplace.org/d.asp?d=4746