Case Study Library

The Fowler Center collects sustainability business cases, which may be used by management faculty as additional teaching resources. Cases are identified by a systematic assessment of existing teaching cases relating to sustainability and through a set of agreed upon criteria to filter cases even further.

Selection Process and Filters

Online databases were combed for all cases that pertained to the topic of sustainability, resulting in 133 business cases. Four filters were applied in the evaluation of each case.

  • The first filter asked whether the case was designed to be a teaching case. To make this distinction we looked for the content to be more than just informative but for it to be able to spark discussion and debate.
  • The second filter evaluated whether the case focused on a topic that was truly a driver of business value rather than just environmental compliance, an ethical decision, or Corporate Social Responsibility.
  • The third filter determined whether the issue in question was a matter of “embedded” or “bolt-on sustainability”. Cases featuring companies incorporating sustainability into their core business functions and philosophies were given priority.
  • The final filter asked whether the issue at hand was one of heretical or disruptive innovation or if it described incremental change.

After applying these filters to the original group of 133 teaching cases, just 48 cases made the cut. These 48 cases represent a choice of sustainability resources that, in a broad sense, meet the Fowler Center’s definition of sustainable value and is just the start. This collection will be added to and refined over time. The Fowler Center can provide assistance to individuals or organizations wishing to use the cases or needing teaching notes.

Contact the Fowler Center for assistance or suggest additional cases to be included on the list.

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Weatherhead School of Management
Case Western Reserve University

10900 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44106-7235 USA