Monday, April 15, 2013

MBA Sustainability Case Studies



Case 1. Du Pont Freon Products Division (A)
HBS 30 pages.  Publication date: Jan 20, 1989. Prod. #: 389111-PDF-ENG

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 serving markets for foam insulation, electronics solvents, and especially refrigeration, was the world's leading producer of these chemicals. Although no substitutes were currently commercially available, or even proven, Du Pont 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.

Case 2. Sustainable Tea at Unilever
Harvard Business School 25 pages.  Publication date: Dec 08, 2011. Prod. #: 712438-PDF-ENG

Unilever's Lipton Tea had been successful with the first phase of its certification partnership with Rainforest Alliance. Now the company faced challenges in how to push forward with the transformation of more difficult parts of the supply chain and how to market sustainable tea in developing markets like India.

Case 3. Patagonia
Harvard Business School 29 pages.  Publication date: Aug 11, 2010. Prod. #: 711020-PDF-ENG

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. While pursuing its strong environmental stance, Patagonia maintains a larger gross profit margin than its competitors and is targeting a 10% rate of annual growth in sales. In spring 2010, Patagonia was in the process of implementing a new, radical environmental initiative called "Product Lifecycle Initiative" (PLI). This initiative represented a holistic commitment to lengthen the lifecycle of each product and reduce landfill waste. It constituted Patagonia's efforts to take responsibility for the products it made, "from birth to death and then beyond death, back to rebirth." The initiative consisted of a mutual contract between the company and its customers to "reduce, repair, reuse, and recycle" the apparel that they consumed.

Case 4.CARE Kenya: Making Social Enterprise Sustainable
Richard Ivey School of Business Foundation 14 pages.  Publication date: Nov 28, 2005. Prod. #: 905M56-PDF-ENG

CARE's Rural Entrepreneurship and Agribusiness Promotion project is a new, market-driven approach to development in Kenya. Although the project has been successful from a development standpoint, it is not commercially viable. The sector manager must determine how to improve the project and make it commercially sustainable.

Case 5. The Robin Hood Foundation
Harvard Business School 24 pages.  Publication date: May 10, 2010. Prod. #: 310031-PDF-ENG

Created by hedge fund and financial managers, the Robin Hood Foundation fights poverty through grants to nonprofit organizations. As the global financial crisis continues to impact the poor disproportionately, the Foundation needs to ensure that its funds are being spent on the most effective poverty-fighting programs. The organization's senior vice president, Michael Weinstein, has developed a benefit-cost (BC) approach to analyze the performance of program grants. How effective is the method? Is funding programs with the highest BC ratios a good way to fight poverty? In three or five years' time, how will Robin Hood know if it is succeeding?

Case 6. Speeding Ahead to a Better Place
Harvard Business School 22 pages.  Publication date: Jan 19, 2012. Prod. #: 512056-PDF-ENG

In mid-2008, Shai Agassi, CEO of Better Place, is in the midst of planning a paradigm shift in clean transportation. In an attempt to wean the world from using gasoline-powered vehicles, his company is playing the role of innovator and integrator for new vehicles, charging spots, and battery switch stations. The effort also requires aligning various parties, from governments to auto manufacturers to consumers. The fledgling company has made good progress in both Israel and Denmark as the first two launch locations but faces a series of decisions on the best course of action going forward. Agassi must decide how best to market in these two countries given the likely adoption challenges once the infrastructure and cars are ready, as well as decide how quickly to begin pursuing other countries (and if so, which ones). A big part of the Better Place solution relies on a novel business model that needs to be evaluated for its attractiveness and feasibility.


Case 7.1. Toyota: Accelerator Pedal Recall (A)
Richard Ivey School of Business Foundation 3 pages.  Publication date: Jun 25, 2011. Prod. #: W11137-PDF-ENG

In January 2010, global automotive manufacturer Toyota faced the task of notifying customers of a recall that involved a faulty accelerator pedal on 1.7 million vehicles, spread across eight different models. In some cases the faulty accelerator pedal was found to stick in depressed position and be slow to return to the idle position, causing unintended vehicle acceleration. With the throttle stuck in the open position a vehicle would continue to accelerate while the driver is trying to brake and slow the vehicle down. Toyota had already come under intense public scrutiny in the previous year over an existing floor mat recall that affected 4.2 million vehicles. Lessons in the automotive industry had been learned the hard way from tire manufacturer Bridgestone. A public backlash occurred in 2003, with class action law suits against Bridgestone for faulty tires that caused some vehicles to roll over. In an attempt to reach the masses, Toyota created a letter to customers that was featured in major newspapers and on its own website. The letter released caused anger and outrage as Toyota stayed clear away from apologizing to consumers. Instead it talks about the companies 50 year heritage and how they are halting production to focus on fixing the vehicles that are on the road. Just days later Toyota drafted and released a second letter to customers. This time they attempt to use better language, but missed the mark on taking full accountability for the problem.

Case 7.2. Toyota: Accelerator Pedal Recall (B)
Richard Ivey School of Business Foundation 5 pages.  Publication date: Aug 25, 2011. Prod. #: W11132-PDF-ENG

"This is a supplement to Toyota: Accelerator Pedal Recall (A). In January 2010, global automotive manufacturer Toyota faced the task of notifying customers of a recall that involved a faulty accelerator pedal on 1.7 million vehicles, spread across eight different models. In some cases the faulty accelerator pedal was found to stick in depressed position and be slow to return to the idle position, causing unintended vehicle acceleration. With the throttle stuck in the open position a vehicle would continue to accelerate while the driver is trying to brake and slow the vehicle down. Toyota had already come under intense public scrutiny in the previous year over an existing floor mat recall that affected 4.2 million vehicles. Lessons in the automotive industry had been learned the hard way from tire manufacturer Bridgestone. A public backlash occurred in 2003, with class action law suits against Bridgestone for faulty tires that caused some vehicles to roll over. In an attempt to reach the masses, Toyota created a letter to customers that was featured in major newspapers and on its own website. The letter released caused anger and outrage as Toyota stayed clear away from apologizing to consumers. Instead it talks about the companies 50 year heritage and how they are halting production to focus on fixing the vehicles that are on the road. Just days later Toyota drafted and released a second letter to customers. This time they attempt to use better language, but missed the mark on taking full accountability for the problem."

Case 8. Arcadia Biosciences: Seeds of Change
Harvard Business School 
19 pages.  Publication date: Dec 01, 2008. Prod. #: 709019-PDF-ENG

Arcadia Biosciences is an entrepreneurial California agricultural biotech company seeking to earn carbon credits by modifying commodity crops for use in China and India. Eric Rey, Arcadia's CEO, faced a strategic inflection point in early September, 2008. The company had a plan to share carbon credits allocated by the United Nations Clean Development Mechanism Executive Board to China, for use of Arcadia's rice varieties, since they enabled farmers to reduce nitrogen fertilizer use, in turn lowering greenhouse gas emissions. But the company's proprietary traits for nitrogen use efficiency, salt tolerance, and water use efficiency also had more conventional paths to market based on licensing deals to large seed companies. Alternatively, Arcadia could acquire a seed company and develop and market its seed directly. A different near-term growth area involved commercializing enriched safflower oil which had undergone several proof of concept tests and for which Rey foresaw a clear market in nutritional supplements and functional foods. The case provides context on the company; describes advances in crops genetics focused to climate change and associated resource issues of fertilizer use, water use, and soil salinity; and poses strategic choices for a start-up company operating at the intersection of business, agriculture, and climate change.

Case 9. Aspen Skiing Company (A)
Source: HBS 26 pages.  Publication date: Sep 13, 2010. Prod. #: 611002-PDF-ENG

Having begun improving the environmental performance of its own operations, Aspen Skiing Company is considering "greening" its supply chain and lobbying for greenhouse gas regulations. A world-renowned ski resort vulnerable to global climate change, Aspen's activities often garner media attention, which can promote its causes. But these initiatives, which attempt to compel other firms to improve their environmental performance, risk a public relations backlash and charges of "greenwashing," given that Aspen's ski resorts are themselves environmentally intensive operations.

by Andrew Hoffman, Allyson Johnson, Courtney Lee, Steven Rippberger, and Morgane Treanton.
Case studies # 1-429-230 and # 1-429-231 (Ann Arbor, MI: Erb Institute, William Davidson Institute, University of Michigan, 2012)

How do you make money when you tell your customers 'don't buy our stuff unless you really need it?'" This was the question that Yvon Chouinard, founder of the clothing company Patagonia, asked himself as he considered developing a new partnership with eBay in which customers would buy and sell used Patagonia gear on eBay rather than buy it new. As he considered this new partnership, Chouinard would have to balance the environmental priorities upon which Patagonia was founded with its financial well-being. This is a two-part case. Part A presents the decision which Chouinard is considering, while Part B presents the decision that Chouinard chose. The A and B cases were written by graduate students Allyson Johnson, Courtney Lee, Steven Rippberger, and Morgane Treanton, under the supervision of Professor Andrew Hoffman.


by Andrew Hoffman, Sarah Howie and Grace Augustine
Case study # 1-429-098 (Ann Arbor, MI: Erb Institute, William Davidson Institute, University of Michigan, 2010) . First prize winner in the 2011 Oikos International Case Competition.

How do you maintain relationships with companies that serve a majority of people, but upset an outspoken minority? Winner of the 2011 Oikos Casewriting Competition, this case explores a tenuous relationship that existed in 2006 between the University of Michigan, a student activist group pushing for environmental reform, and the Coca-Cola Company. Pressured by this activist group, the university decided to cut its contract with Coke until the company satisfied the environmental and labor demands of these activists. Students will learn about student activism in a university setting and how the university seeks to satisfy student requests.

By Andrew Hoffman, Craig Cammarata, Jennifer Gough, Brian Moss, Ashley Nowygrod, Nathan Springer and Arie Jongejan
Case study # 1-428-989 (Ann Arbor, MI: Erb Institute, William Davidson Institute, University of Michigan, 2010), Third prize winner in the 2011 Oikos International Case Competition.

In early 2008, Clorox released a new line of environmentally friendly cleaning products called GreenWorks. The product line was the first new brand released by Clorox in 20 years. Following the success of smaller firms such as Seventh Generation and Method, Clorox targeted the niche market of green products, with an estimated market size of $150 million. Unlike the smaller firms, Clorox commanded shelf space at big-box stores such as Wal-Mart, Target, and Costco. Using its competitive advantages in distribution and economies of scale, Clorox priced its GreenWorks products below those of smaller competitors. Surprisingly, Clorox’s market entry did not steal revenue from smaller players, but instead caused the market for green cleaning products to explode. This result left Clorox with several strategic questions.



By Andrew Hoffman, Elizabeth Paynter, Elizabeth Senecal, Lauren Start, Tina Tam, David Weinglass, Ryan Whisnat and Arie Jongejan
Case study # 1-428-947 (Ann Arbor, MI: Erb Institute, William Davidson Institute, University of Michigan, 2010).

Are “wide-scale distribution” and “sustainability” mutually exclusive? This case explores this question through the examples of Honest Tea, one of the fast growing companies in the Ready-To-Drink market, and Coca-Cola. Honest Tea faces a challenging decision: whether or not to sell part of its business to Coca-Cola. Honest Tea desires to stay committed to CSR goals and maintain its niche market appeal; however, it needs to expand its distribution network to make a large impact in the mainstream market, grow profitability, and affect positive change by introducing healthy, sustainable products to the beverage industry. This case asks whether it makes sense for Honest Tea to scale up its organic and fair trade beverages, and if the partnership with Coca-Cola is the best move. The case focuses on business strategy, and promotes understanding of the complexities of a sustainable business and the challenges that arise while trying to maintain growth and pro

Case 14. LivingHomes
By Andrew Hoffman and Rebecca Henn
Case study # 1-428-714 (Ann Arbor, MI: Erb Institute, William Davidson Institute, University of Michigan, 2008). Third prize winner in the 2008 Oikos International Case Competition.

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. Students will learn about the environmental impact of the buildings, the certification programs to build green buildings, and the critical elements of creating a sound business that capitalizes on the green building industry. This case was awarded third prize in the 2008 Oikos Case Competition.


By Andrew Hoffman, Julie Smith and Steve Soukup.
Case studies # 1-429-049 and 1- 429-051 (Ann Arbor, MI: Erb Institute, William Davidson Institute, University of Michigan, 2010). 

This case describes Molten Metal Technology's beginnings and its new technologies, the impact of regulation on its business, environmental implications, the waste cleanup and disposal industry, and Molten Metal Technology's possibilities for future expansion amidst competition.

Case 16.  Nanosolar, Inc.
by Thomas Steenburg and Alison Berkley Wagonfeld.
Harvard Business School. Aug 31, 2009. Prod #: 510037-PDF-ENG. 

Nanosolar is a start-up company in the clean tech sector. It expects to be one of the first manufacturers to produce thin-film solar panels using copper indium gallium (di)selenide (CIGS) technology. Although this technology is less efficient in producing electricity than polysilicone, it is much less costly too. As it is about to enter the market, Nanosolar is facing the decision on which market to enter. Should it attempt to go into the European market which has established feed-in tariffs? Or should it enter the nascent, but growing US market?


Case 17. Suntech Power
Source: Harvard Business School 25 pages.  Publication date: Sep 29, 2009. Prod. #: 710013-PDF-ENG

Suntech, a Chinese manufacturer of photovoltaic cells and solar panels, is the third largest solar company in the world. About 90 percent of its sales have been in Europe - especially Germany and Spain. But with its new "pluto" technology, and with new governmental subsidies in China, Japan and the USA, Suntech is shifting its focus - first to the USA, and then to China and Japan. And it has recently moved down-stream in the USA, into systems integration and independent power. The case reviews the structure of competition in solar power, and evaluates Suntech's new strategy.

Case 18A. Suntech Power Holdings (A): the Pre-IPO Years
Stanford Graduate School of Business 28 pages.  Publication date: Jan 11, 2010. Prod. #: E347A-PDF-ENG

The (A) case follows Dr. Zhengrong Shi, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Suntech Power Holdings, on his journey to create a global solar PV company headquartered in China. It covers his background and inspiration for the idea, his dealings with the local Chinese government authorities, the company's business strategies, competitive landscape, and performance to date. The case concludes with the founder contemplating future options for his company, including the possibility of taking the company public on the New York Stock Exchange. The (B) case follows the company in the post-IPO years, providing an update on strategy, financial performance, and the competitive landscape.


Case 18B. Suntech Power Holdings (B): The Post-IPO Years
Source: Stanford Graduate School of Business 11 pages.  Publication date: Jan 11, 2010. Prod. #: E347B-PDF-ENG
The (A) case follows Dr. Zhengrong Shi, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Suntech Power Holdings, on his journey to create a global solar PV company headquartered in China. It covers his background and inspiration for the idea, his dealings with the local Chinese government authorities, the company's business strategies, competitive landscape, and performance to date. The case concludes with the founder contemplating future options for his company, including the possibility of taking the company public on the New York Stock Exchange. The (B) case follows the company in the post-IPO years, providing an update on strategy, financial performance, and the competitive landscape.

Case 19. Scandinavian Airlines: The Green Engine Decision
Source: Richard Ivey School of Business Foundation 11 pages.  Publication date: Jun 11, 2009. Prod. #: 909M28-PDF-ENG

Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) is an innovator of strategic environmental management in the airline industry. Being a first-mover can have both its advantages and disadvantages. This case looks at the airline's decision of whether they should invest in the best available environmental technology for a fleet of new aircraft that would serve them for the next 25 years. While the technology for these low-emission engines had been around since the 1970s, it had never really been commercialized. SAS was feeling pressure from the regulatory authorities with regards to potential new charges and taxes that could affect the future operating costs of the fleet. Despite these anticipated future costs, at the time of the decision, the director of aircraft and engine analysis for SAS could not make an economic case for the more expensive engines. The challenge was for the fleet development team to try to convince the SAS management team to spend the extra kr5 million (Swedish Kronor) per aircraft for the dual combustor engine. Given that corporations are faced with increasing pressure with regards to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, this case study presents an opportunity for discussion and analysis of various environmental concepts including strategic environmental management, adoption of best available environmental technologies, the role of internal environmental leadership in a large corporation and the effect of market-based mechanisms to improve a sector's environmental performance. The case illustrates the complexities of environmental decisions in striking a balance between meeting ambitious commitments and dealing with real capabilities of companies and external pressures.


Case 20. Scandinavian Airlines System
Source: Harvard Business School 21 pages.  Publication date: Dec 09, 1986. Prod. #: 487041-PDF-ENG

Discusses the fostering of entrepreneurship and innovation in the large corporation. It traces the development and history of Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) from 1946 to the present with particular emphasis on the leadership of Jan Carlzon, CEO from 1981 to the present. He transformed the company's culture from a technical to a marketing force through personal leadership, internal corporate communications training, human resource policies and procedures, and other organizational tools.


Case 22. The Manager’s Job at BP: Decision Making and Responsibilities on the High Seas
Lüdeke-Freund, F., & Zvezdov, D. (2013)
International Journal of Case Studies in Management, forthcoming.

The teaching case takes a look at the recent history of the oil major BP. It contains two storylines: Part A is about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill of 2010, its physical and financial consequences, and how it was perceived by the public, especially political representatives. The first section provides comprehensive information on the oil spill and the preceding explosion on the drilling rig Deepwater Horizon. This event in particular and BP’s safety performance in general were treated in numerous U.S. Congress hearings, to which also BP’s CEO Tony Hayward was summoned. Two sections on “The Hearing”, which are based on original protocols, illustrate Hayward’s inability (or unwillingness) to answer crucial questions on safety and risk management and decision making at BP. Additionally, Part B provides further background information on the company. Three sections present milestones between 2000 and 2009, with a focus on the “beyond petroleum” campaign. Readers learn of BP as a complex business group that tried to re-define itself after one century of corporate history. Former CEO Lord Browne gave BP the “beyond petroleum” identity and in his term BP Alternative Energy was founded. But he left the company because of a private scandal. Despite this re-branding and improved business performance, Tony Hayward, Lord Browne’s successor, was exposed to fierce critique and accused of greenwashing.

Case 23A.  BP and the Whiting Refinery: Beyond Petroleum (A)
Product Type: Case  Publication Date: 12/2008  Product ID#: 1-428-727  Length: 11pages

Teaching Note available to Registered Educators This case describes the situation facing BP America's President Bob Malone in late 2007. Malone could not understand where they had gone wrong while attempting to expand the refining capacity at their Whiting, Indiana plant. They had followed all the rules set out by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and legally obtained a permit for expansion. Still, they were swiftly attacked by environmentalists from the surrounding area. The BP and the Whiting Refinery case parts (A) and (B) ask students to evaluate BP's decision and its options for moving forward with the expansion.

Case 23B. and the Whiting Refinery: Beyond Petroleum (B)

Product Type: Mini-Case  Publication Date: 12/2009  Product ID#: 1-428-736  Length: 4pages

This mini-case is a follow-up to the BP and the Whiting Refinery Case (A), which describes the situation facing BP America's President Bob Malone in late 2007. Malone could not understand where they had gone wrong while attempting to expand the refining capacity at their Whiting, Indiana plant. They had followed all the rules set out by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and legally obtained a permit for expansion. Still, they were swiftly attacked by environmentalists from the surrounding area. The BP and the Whiting Refinery case parts (A) and (B) ask students to evaluate BP's decision and its options for moving forward with the expansion.


Case 24A.  Molten Metal Technology (A)
Product Type: Case  Publication Date: 04/2010  Product ID#: 1-429-049  Length: 24pages

This case describes Molten Metal Technology's beginnings and its new technologies, the impact of regulation on its business, environmental implications, the waste cleanup and disposal industry, and Molten Metal Technology's possibilities for future expansion amidst competition.

Case 24B.  Molten Metal Technology (B)
Product Type: Mini-Case  Publication Date: 04/2010  Product ID#: 1-429-051  Length: 8pages

This case, the second in a series, describes Molten Metal Technology's problems that culminated in the company filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, including interactions between government, environmental concerns, and business.

Case 25. Range Resources: A Commitment to Transparency
Product Type: Case  Publication Date: 06/2011  Product ID#: 1-429-168  Length: 28pages

 John Pinkerton, CEO of natural gas company Range Resources, must consider supporting or condemning a new bill passed by Congress that could add more regulations to one of Range's most effective mining methods: fracking. Pinkerton must consider the benefits and costs of supporting or condemning the new legislation and how it will impact his company.

Case 25. Clorox Company Goes Green, The
Product Type: Case  Publication Date: 05/2010  Product ID#: 1-429-087  Length: 26pages

In early 2008, Clorox released a new line of environmentally friendly cleaning products called GreenWorks. The product line was the first new brand released by Clorox in 20 years. Following the success of smaller firms such as Seventh Generation and Method, Clorox targeted the niche market of green products, with an estimated market size of $150 million. Unlike the smaller firms, Clorox commanded shelf space at big-box stores such as Wal-Mart, Target, and Costco. Using its competitive advantages in distribution and economies of scale, Clorox priced its GreenWorks products below those of smaller competitors. Surprisingly, Clorox’s market entry did not steal revenue from smaller players, but instead caused the market for green cleaning products to explode. This result left Clorox with several strategic questions.

Case 26.  Sherwin Williams: Splashing Into the Low VOC Paint Market

Product Type: Case  Publication Date: 05/2010  Product ID#: 1-428-993  Length: 16pages

In late 1996, Sherwin-Williams CEO John Breen sat at his desk, preparing for another meeting with his board of directors. The room was dark except for a small stream of light that escaped the curtains hung heavily over the windows. Outside, rain was falling onto the company’s corporate headquarters and on the streets of Cleveland. Breen stared at the portraits of company founders Henry Sherwin and Edward Williams that loomed above him on the wall. What would they think about the company’s direction under his watch? Both had invested their life savings to create Sherwin-Williams in 1870. More than 125 years later, a market shift was taking place. Some paint companies were experimenting with new formulations—using different materials to make paint that would send fewer toxins into the air. Would the founders agree with the decisions Breen had made as he guided the company into this new era?


Case 27. Coke in the Crosshairs: Water, India, and the University of Michigan
Product Type: Case  Publication Date: 07/2010  Product ID#: 1-429-098  Length: 22pages

How do you maintain relationships with companies that serve a majority of people, but upset an outspoken minority? Winner of the 2011 Oikos Casewriting Competition, this case explores a tenuous relationship that existed in 2006 between the University of Michigan, a student activist group pushing for environmental reform, and the Coca-Cola Company. Pressured by this activist group, the university decided to cut its contract with Coke until the company satisfied the environmental and labor demands of these activists. Students will learn about student activism in a university setting and how the university seeks to satisfy student requests.

Case 28A. Russell Athletic Tries to Keep the Shirt on Its Back (A)
Product Type: Case  Publication Date: 01/2010  Product ID#: 1-428-826  Length: 24pages

Russell Athletic, one of the University of Michigan's primary providers of collegiate athletic clothing, is involved in a serious labor rights controversy. Russell had been a trustworthy and responsible supplier for years, but the University of Michigan committee was very concerned about Russell’s decision to close a manufacturing facility in Honduras, a move that received severe condemnation from some labor rights groups. Students consider the appropriate role of a major university (or firm) in setting and enforcing social responsibility criteria such as environmental and labor law issues. Specifically, students evaluate the purpose of applying criteria beyond "normal" business criteria (like price, quality, quantity, financing).


Case 28B. Russell Athletic Tries to Keep the Shirt on Its Back (B)
Product Type: Mini-Case  Publication Date: 01/2010  Product ID#: 1-429-010  Length: 4pages

This case involves a recent labor rights controversy surrounding Russell Athletic, one of the University of Michigan's primary providers of collegiate athletic clothing. Russell had been a trustworthy and responsible supplier to the University for years, but the committee was very concerned about Russell’s decision to close a manufacturing facility in Honduras, a move that had received severe condemnation from some labor rights groups. The B case updates students on the February 9, 2009 action taken by the University of Michigan’s President’s Advisory Committee on Labor Standards and Human Rights.


Case 29. BP: Beyond Petroleum?

Product Type: Case  Publication Date: 04/2012  Product ID#: 1-429-229  Length: 28pages
British Petroleum (BP), one of the world’s largest oil companies, had spent over $200 million rebranding itself as environmentally responsible, with the tagline “Beyond Petroleum.” However, after the catastrophic 2010 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill, the company’s name seemed to be permanently tarnished. Through a deep dive into all events of the spill, this case study asks students to determine: what should BP do now?Newly appointed CEO Bob Dudley inherited a company that faced billions of dollars in damages, a furious public, and an irate US government. The “Beyond Petroleum” campaign that was successfully undertaken in 2000 was now the focus of derision and disbelief. As CEO, Dudley must repair the company’s image, re-establish some level of trust with government, and convince investors that BP will return to profitability.This case was written by MBA candidates Jonathan Huynh, Jacob Kapitan, Satish Katpally, Ben Pierce, and Ben Pierson, under the supervision of Professor Andrew Hoffman.

Case 30. Building and Scaling a Cross-Sector Partnership:
Oxfam and Swiss Re Empower Farmers in Ethiopia
Product Type: Case  Publication Date: 03/2012  Product ID#: 1-429-185  Length: 22pages

Winner of the 2012 Oikos Foundation Casewriting Competition. Swiss Re, a large global reinsurance company, has partnered with Oxfam America, an international relief and development organization, to provide the poor with risk reduction support. The partnership's evolution shows students many common inter- and intra-organizational challenges. For example, the need to overcome internal biases, adapt to organizational differences, and build the capacity to learn from one another. Students will experience what is required to maintain this type of relationship, as well as understand adjustments needed when partnerships scale. 

While many cross-sector collaborations reach the pilot stage, scaling offers a new set of challenges. Oxfam's next step is to ask for Swiss Re’s long-term commitment to an ambitious vision of scale. Oxfam wants to expand substantially in Ethiopia as well as enter three new countries in the following years. Students consider how to present a compelling vision for scale that addres


Case 31. E+Co & Tecnosol: Energy Innovation

Product Type: Case  Publication Date: 12/2010  Product ID#: 1-429-153  Length: 37pages

By providing growth capital to local entrepreneurs, E+Co helps deliver alternative energy solutions to people around the world. In Nicaragua, where nearly fifty percent of the population is "off the grid," E+Co's investment in solar energy provider Tecnosol means people can have refrigeration, lights, running water, and jobs. The Nicaraguan government welcomes this effort, as scarce financial resources have stymied efforts to completely build out the electric grid.

Case 32. Building a Sustainable Venture from the Ground Up:
The Mountain Institute’s Earth Brick Machine
Product Type: Case  Publication Date: 11/2006  Product ID#: 1-428-611  Length: 22pages

The Mountain Institute works to improve environmental conditions and the quality of life for local communities in mountainous regions throughout the world. TMI is exploring options for its patented technology for compressed earth blocks. Relative to other technologies serving this market, TMI believes that its compressed earth block (CEB) machine is price competitive, allows for low-cost construction, and is environmentally friendly. Winner of the prestigious 2005 Oikos Case Competition., this case explores using this technology as the centerpiece for a new for-profit venture in the developing world.

Case 33A. Expanding the Playing Field: Nike’s World Shoe Project (A)
Product Type: Case  Publication Date: 09/2008  Product ID#: 1-428-673  Length: 20pages

Nike's Footwear Director for Emerging Markets was challenged with “expanding the playing field” in emerging markets with a range of affordable, durable, and easy-to-produce sports shoes. The goal was to effectively reach the huge untapped segment of “Tier 3” countries, characterized by a population of 1 billion and an average of $2,000 purchasing power parity. By January 2001, the initiative had sold only 404,520 pairs in China. Compared to the booming 1.2 billion population of China, this was disappointing. Now students must determine what the team should do to persuade senior management to support and continue the project.


Case 33B. Expanding the Playing Field: Nike’s World Shoe Project (B)
Product Type: Mini-Case  Publication Date: 09/2008  Product ID#: 1-428-674  Length: 3pages

 Nike’s World Shoe Project (B) accompanies Case (A). This one-page summary is designed to be handed out in class to give students an update on Nike's strategy for entering China.

Case 34A. Patagonia: Encouraging Customers to Buy Used Clothing (A)
Product Type: Case  Publication Date: 03/2012  Product ID#: 1-429-230  Length: 22pages

How do you make money when you tell your customers 'don't buy our stuff unless you really need it?'" This was the question that Yvon Chouinard, founder of the clothing company Patagonia, asked himself as he considered developing a new partnership with eBay in which customers would buy and sell used Patagonia gear on eBay rather than buy it new. As he considered this new partnership, Chouinard would have to balance the environmental priorities upon which Patagonia was founded with its financial well-being. This is a two-part case. Part A presents the decision which Chouinard is considering, while Part B presents the decision that Chouinard chose. The A and B cases were written by graduate students Allyson Johnson, Courtney Lee, Steven Rippberger, and Morgane Treanton, under the supervision of Professor Andrew Hoffman.

Case 34B. Patagonia: Encouraging Customers to Buy Used Clothing (B)
Product Type: Case  Publication Date: 03/2012  Product ID#: 1-429-231  Length: 6pages

How do you make money when you tell your customers 'don't buy our stuff unless you really need it?'" This was the question that Yvon Chouinard, founder of the clothing company Patagonia, asked himself as he considered developing a new partnership with eBay in which customers would buy and sell used Patagonia gear on eBay rather than buy it new. As he considered this new partnership, Chouinard would have to balance the environmental priorities upon which Patagonia was founded with its financial well-being. This is a two-part case. Part A presents the decision which Chouinard is considering, while Part B presents the decision that Chouinard chose. This case presents the decision about a potential partnership with eBay that Yvon Chouinard, founder of the clothing company Patagonia, chose to pursue. The A and B cases were written by graduate students Allyson Johnson, Courtney Lee, Steven Rippberger, and Morgane Treanton, under the supervision of Professor Andrew Hoffman.

Case 35. Honest Tea: Sell Up or Sell Out?
Product Type: Case  Publication Date: 09/2010  Product ID#: 1-428-947  Length: 22pages

Are “wide-scale distribution” and “sustainability” mutually exclusive? This case explores this question through the examples of Honest Tea, one of the fast growing companies in the Ready-To-Drink market, and Coca-Cola. Honest Tea faces a challenging decision: whether or not to sell part of its business to Coca-Cola. Honest Tea desires to stay committed to CSR goals and maintain its niche market appeal; however, it needs to expand its distribution network to make a large impact in the mainstream market, grow profitability, and affect positive change by introducing healthy, sustainable products to the beverage industry. This case asks whether it makes sense for Honest Tea to scale up its organic and fair trade beverages, and if the partnership with Coca-Cola is the best move. The case focuses on business strategy, and promotes understanding of the complexities of a sustainable business and the challenges that arise while trying to maintain growth and pro

Case 36. Better Place: Charging into the Future?
Product Type: Case  Publication Date: 05/2010  Product ID#: 1-428-946  Length: 26pages

With partnerships and developments in nations across the globe, Better Place seemed poised to succeed in the burgeoning electric vehicle market. Yet Better Place’s proposition relied on a revolutionary shift in the automobile industry. Would the company witness the widespread adoption of electric vehicles in the near future, or would competing technologies, environmental regulation, financial considerations, or other players in the electric vehicle market thwart Shai Agassi’s plans?

Case 37. LivingHomes
Product Type: Case  Publication Date: 01/2008  Product ID#: 1-428-714  Length: 38pages

 ~~Awarded 3rd prize in the 2008 oikos Casewriting Competition~~ 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. Students will learn about the environmental impact of the buildings, the certification programs to build green buildings, and the critical elements of creating a sound business that capitalizes on the green building industry. This case was awarded third prize in the 2008 Oikos Case Competition.

Case 38. Google Energy Shifts into Renewables
Product Type: Case  Publication Date: 04/2012  Product ID#: 1-429-226  Length: 14pages
Core Disciplines: Strategy & Management; Sustainability 

Google has been widely criticized for its data center energy usage. Google Energy, a recently created subsidiary, has successfully responded to this criticism but must now formulate an expansion strategy. If successful, the expansion is expected to strengthen Google’s image as an industry leader in energy procurement, provide strong financial returns, and create a lucrative new market. However, this initiative has high risks. The team must evaluate: Were its current efforts enough, or were they just the baseline? How far should Google go to address the environmental impacts of its operations? This case was written under the supervision of Professor Andrew Hoffman by graduate students Benjamin Bunker, Jennifer Foster, Jason Levine, Rodrigo Sanchez, Gaurang Sethi, and Geroge Tan.


Case 39. NextEra Energy
Product Type: Case  Publication Date: 06/2012  Product ID#: 1-429-232  Length: 18pages

Rick Anderson, senior director of NextEra’s Green Marketing Group, is crafting a marketing strategy to move Renewable Energy Certificates (REC) on the voluntary market by demonstrating the added value of the company’s EarthEra RECs. NextEra not only markets RECs, but also funds the construction of renewable energy projects. Anderson is seeking to expand the EarthEra program and brand. While there has been some good responses to EarthEra RECs, there have also been setbacks. Demand for RECs is decreasing. The end of federal incentives for renewable energy projects, the 2008 financial crisis, and a rejection of federal RPS legislation have depressed the market for voluntary RECs. Anderson’s challenge is to find the right strategy to expand the EarthEra REC program in the midst of these difficultiesThis case was written by graduate students Jenna Agins, Rajat Bhatia, Andrea Cunningham, Natalie George, Daniel Gonzalez-Kreisberg, and Jonathan Mattson, under the supervision of Professor Andrew Hoffman.


Case 40. Equilibrium Capital Group: Investing in Energy Efficiency
Product Type: Case  Publication Date: 07/2011  Product ID#: 1-429-106  Length: 48pages

Venture capitalists Bill Campbell and Kipp Baratoff have a decision to make. They can either invest their hard-earned capital in one of two existing energy efficiency (EE) companies or create their own company that tackles EE market barriers in a novel way. Bill and Kipp must understand how EE companies operate and discover the nuances of the EE market to make their joint decision. This case explores tactics used by three EE companies to overcome market barriers and capture the tremendous financial potential of the energy efficient market.

Case 41. Good Capital: Emergence of the Social Capital Market
Product Type: Case  Publication Date: 05/2011  Product ID#: 1-429-172  Length: 13pages

Fourth Place Winner of the NextBillion 2011 Case Writing Competition Kevin Jones, cofounder of social investment firm Good Capital, is considering possible expansion strategies for Good Capital. He has three main options: raising a second fund, expanding their SOCAP conference to help develop the impact investing industry, and increasing the reach of The Hub, work places for social entrepreneurs. He also wonders whether Good Capital should broaden its scope to include the international market. In making his decision, Jones decides to estimate the profitability and social return of all three expansion strategies, as well as the qualitative pros and cons of each.

Case 42. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.: End of Incentives
By Tara Ceranic, Ivan Montiel and Wendy Cook. 2011. Case Research Journal 31(2).
 
In May 2008, Ken Grossman, the founder, owner, and CEO of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. (SNBC), faced a dilemma: whether to complete a solar power installation at its facility in Chico, California. From the beginning, Grossman had made a commitment to make environmental sustainability part of the strategic plan and the overriding cultural norm of his organization. In line with this commitment, Sierra Nevada had undertaken the creation of a five-phase solar installation. When the project began, the company knew that the federal government and state of California would provide tax and other incentives that would save the company a substantial amount of money on the installation. However, with four of the five phases completed, SNBC had reached the cap of these incentives, and California had denied a request for an extension. Incentives provided during the first four phases of the installation had yielded fairly rapid returns. Now, however, without the state incentives, finishing the solar installation would be costly, and time to payback would be anywhere between ten and twenty years. As the sole owner of the privately-held craft brewery, Grossman had the final say in this matter, but he sought out the advice of his CFO, Bill Bales, as the firm’s financial expert. Should the company complete the project? Grossman asked Bales.


Case 43.  “Ergonomics Inc,” A Design for Environment Case Study.
By Sroufe, R.P. and Helferich, J. Council of Logistics Management, August, 1997.

Ergonomics highlights the issues associated with assessing and implementing environmental issues with manufacturers and suppliers in the office furniture industry.  Discussion and analysis of this case provides a framework for justification of environmental issues through the use of multi criterion decision analysis.  In justifying the course of action developed by the case team, there are four primary decision criteria: design, waste reduction, product life cycle, and shipping.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Case 44. Host Europe: Advancing CSR and Sustainability in a Medium-sized IT Company.

By Rüdiger Hahn, 2010. Source: Ivey. Product#: 9B10M042. Length: 17 pages.

The case deals with issues of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability in the specific setting of a medium-sized enterprise (Host Europe) in the IT industry. Host Europe is the third largest webhosting company in German-speaking Europe. In recent years, the company has put substantial efforts into living up to its CSR and improving sustainability. However, there are still some challenges ahead and students are asked to think about further efforts of Host Europe to complete its path to becoming a responsible and sustainable medium-sized IT company.

Issues: Communications; Sustainable Development; Information Technology; Computer Industry; Corporate Social Responsibility; Green IT; Organizational Change

Disciplines: General Management/Strategy, Information Systems, International, Organizational Behaviour/Leadership, Sustainability Management, CSR Management

Anthony Davis said...

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Debbie de Lange said...

Blueprint for Ford's Future:
From Personal Automobiles to Mobility
by Andrew Hoffman

DESCRIPTION: Ford Motor Company’s Social Sustainability Manager, David Berdish, faces the challenge of positioning Ford on the forefront of the new global transportation industry in a sustainable way while leveraging Ford’s leadership in the automotive industry. This case takes a holistic look at the global transportation industry but places emphasis on megacities in bustling emerging markets and their increasingly congested transportation systems. With the company’s strategic mobility initiative in place and Ford’s Blueprint for Mobility launched as of February 2012, the question of resource and technology allocation and strategic positioning among traditional and new (car-sharing, traffic data management) competitors becomes critical to success. Students must decide how to balance innovation, market positioning, and long-term vision with near-term strategy to better serve the next generation of customers on multiple levels – access, community, and environmental.

http://www.globalens.com/casedetail.aspx?cid=1429303

yajur said...
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Marbele mark said...

Hey thanks a lot for list of these studies. My friend who is doing global MBA was looking for something similar and I shared this post with him. Hope it helps him.