Procter and Gamble’s PuR Water Purifier: The hunt for a Sustainable Business Model

30 June 2008 | Cases | Development, Resources

Case abstract Over the last 6 years, under the leadership of Dr. Greg Allgood, director of the Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program, P&G has helped to distribute 65 million PuR packets. These packets have been used to purify 650 million litres of water, most often in rural locations. Over time, and through a variety of deliberate partnerships that Allgood cultivated in 10 countries, P&G has tested three different sales and distribution models: commercial marketing, social marketing and disaster relief – each with varying degrees of success. Drawing from past successes and failures, Allgood is considering how to fulfill P&G’s aggressive commitment to providing 135 million litres of safe drinking water in Africa and how to achieve long term... »

Living Homes

30 June 2008 | Cases | Entrepreneurship

Case abstract 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 impacts of buildings, the certification programs to build green buildings, and the critical elements of creating a sound business that capitalises on the green building industry.... »


30 June 2008 | Cases

Case Abstract Nearly all environmental organizations have a similar aim; to stop the degradation of the natural environment. However, the strategies which environmental organizations choose to employ are sometimes starkly different. This case compares the models of two dissimilar environmental powerhouses: Greenpeace and World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF). Active in 100 countries, WWF works with governments, businesses, other NGOs, and communities to set up conservation programs to preserve natural habitat. In contrast, Greenpeace works to campaign for environmental change against governments and corporations and accepts funding only through individuals and foundation grants. This case explores the detailed history and business models of both organizations.... »

Case Studies in Sustainability Management and Strategy (Volume 1)

01 September 2007 | Books | Management

In 2007 oikos and Greenleaf Publishing published Case Studies in Sustainability Management and Strategy (Volume 1), a compilation of oikos winning cases in 2003-2007 oikos Case Writing Competitions. Order the book... »

The Body Shop: Social Responsibility or Sustained Greenwashing?

30 June 2007 | Cases | Marketing

Case Abstract This case is about the issue of sustainability rhetoric and greenwashing. In March 2006, The Body Shop International Plc. (Body Shop), a retailer of natural-based and ethically-sourced beauty products, announced that it had agreed to an acquisition by the beauty care giant L’Oréal in a cash deal worth £652 million (US$ 1.14 billion). The announcement brought in its wake a spate of criticism against Body Shop and its founder, Dame Anita Roddick. Body Shop was regarded as a pioneer in modern corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices. The company was also strongly associated with Roddick’s social activism. This case discusses the reactions of consumers, activists, and CSR experts to the acquisition of Body Shop by L’Oréal. The... »

TEMBEC Inc.: Creating Value by Managing Stakeholder Tension

30 June 2007 | Cases | Conservation, Resources

Case Abstract Throughout the 1990s there was increasing competition for Ontario’s forest land. The forest industry, including Tembec Inc, demanded from the Ontario government more certainty in the lands available to them. To reach a consensus on strategic land use, the government launched Lands for Life process and undertook extensive public consultations. Unfortunately the consultation process resulted in a polarization of stakeholders, and the 242 controversial recommendations threatened to spark a ‘war in the woods’, primarily between the forestry industry and environmentalists. Tembec’s chief executive office foresaw this conflict and was determined to take a different course of action that would bring a real solution that would meet both the objectives of the forestry industry and environmentalists. He... »

Seventh Generation: Balancing Customer Expectations with Supply Chain Realities

Case Abstract The case focuses on Seventh Generation, a maker of environmentally-sensitive household nondurables such as soaps, detergents, paper products, and diapers. Faced with the prospect of being without a product when a contract manufacturer could no longer make its natural baby wipes, the company substituted conventional wipes. But some of the ingredients in these conventional baby wipes proved unacceptable to its customers. The case provides a broad background on the industry in which Seventh Generation competes, and the developing green niche within it. A history of the company’s circuitous journey to become the leader in its field is then presented, with special reference to the importance of its corporate values to strategy and staffing. The case closes... »

Transforming the Global Fishing Industry: The Marine Stewardship Council at Full Sail?

Case Abstract The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is an non-government organisation (NGO) – headquartered in London and established by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Unilever in 1997 to set up a certification and eco-labelling system for sustainable fishing. The case describes the MSC’s initial and more recent challenges including the Tragedy of the Commons, a wide range of less willing stakeholders, and the complexity of certifying fisheries on sustainability criteria. It also outlines management decisions to meet at least some of the challenges: improved transparency and engagement with stakeholders, new governance structures and certification methodologies. For the learning objectives, the participants should: (1) see the challenges associated with the certification of sustainable business practices (in general and... »

City Water Tanzania

30 June 2007 | Cases | Resources

Case Abstract The first part of the case examines how the Tanzanian government intends to address a pressing deterioration in the infrastructure and services of Dar es Salaam’s Water and Sewerage Authority (DAWASA). The decision process unfolds in the spring of 2002, on the heels of the Cochabamba uprising and increasing dispute over the involvement of the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in other water development projects in Ghana, Mauritania and South Africa. Part B describes Tanzanian government’s privatization of DAWASA. It details the terms of the lease contract with an international operator, City Water, discussing the alternatives that were considered and discarded, the bidding process, and the roles and motivations of the parties. Part... »

Kimpton Hotels: Balancing Strategy and Environmental Sustainability

30 June 2006 | Cases

Case Abstract Michael Pace faced a dilemma. He was Kimpton Hotels’ West Coast Director of Operations and Environmental Programs, General Manager of its Villa Florence Hotel in San Francisco, and the main catalyst for implementing its “EarthCare” program nationally. 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.... »