Operations 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Company: Procter and Gamble
Publisher: UVA
Call Number: UVA-E-0314, 0315, UV1160, UV1161
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

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

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

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

The Tennant Company case 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 better for the environment, the revamp was a success to all involved parties.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
Is a proven technology without any 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?

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

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

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

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



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