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Y U Ranch: Strategy and Sustainability in Cattle Ranching

30 June 2011 | Cases | Strategy, Supply Chain

Case Abstract Bryan Gilvesy owns and operates Y U Ranch, a Longhorn cattle ranch in southern Ontario. In this case series, Gilvesy is required to make a set of interesting but seemingly unimportant decisions. Collectively, over the three cases, students will see that each decision builds on the previous decision, which contributes not only to Gilvesy becoming less “sustainable” in the traditional sense of the word but also less “resilient”. Bryan Gilvesy owns and operates Y U Ranch, a Longhorn cattle ranch in southern Ontario. In this case series, Gilvesy is required to make a set of interesting but seemingly unimportant decisions. Collectively, over the three cases, students will see that each decision builds on the previous decision... »

Vodafone M-PESA (A): Turning a corporate social responsibility innovation into a mainstream business opportunity

30 June 2011 | Cases | Development, Finance

Case Abstract Vodafone, a world leader in mobile telecommunications, in partnership with Safaricom, the leading Kenyan mobile operator, launches a service that allows registered users to transfer money from their mobile phones to other mobile phone users. Users simply load their M-PESA account with cash, transfer the money through a secured SMS, and the recipient can convert it to cash via a local air-time reseller. Vodafone, a world leader in mobile telecommunications, in partnership with Safaricom, the leading Kenyan mobile operator, launches a service that allows registered users to transfer money from their mobile phones to other mobile phone users. Users simply load their M-PESA account with cash, transfer the money through a secured SMS, and the recipient... »

Tropical Salvage: From Recession to Expansion

30 June 2011 | Cases | Conservation, Growth

Case Abstract Tim O’Brien, Founder of Tropical Salvage, was ready to launch a growth strategy for his company.  He had spent ten years building the sourcing, production and marketing capabilities of Tropical Salvage.  And he had worked successful with a not-for-profit partner to establish the Jepara Forest Conservancy to further the social and environmental missions that had provided the primary motivation for the company. O’Brien had many key business decisions to make to actualize his growth strategy, including how to finance a new branded retail store, the best ways to build brand awareness of the products, and whether or not to extend the product offerings. The inspiration for Tropical Salvage came to O’Brien during a week of trekking... »

Better Place: Shifting Paradigms in the Automotive Industry

Case Abstract  In a bold bid to dramatically reshape the automotive industry, start-up company Better Place is attempting to shift transportation from reliance on the environmentally destructive internal combustion engine to electric power from renewable sources.  In order to overcome the limitations of current technology and utilize off-the-shelf hardware, Better Place is rolling out an extensive infrastructure to provide ubiquitous charging opportunities in the hope that this would satisfy virtually all driver requirements. In pursuing this massive transformation, Better Place is promoting a paradigm shift in the business model for personal transportation, by shifting sales from products (cars and gasoline) to services, by selling its customers “miles”.  The end goal is to truly make the world a better... »

Coke in the Cross Hairs: Water, India, and the University of Michigan

30 June 2011 | Cases | Consumption, Resources

Case Abstract The case drives a discussion around events in 2005-2006 when the University of Michigan decided to cut its contract with Coca-Cola because of the company’s environmental issues in India and labor issues in Colombia. The case follows Coca-Cola’s changing approach to water management through the University of Michigan situation, which was both unique and also telling of universal shifts in the ways companies manage environmental and social issues. This detailed account enables students to understand global changes through one case and challenges them to think about the role of activists and the responsibility of a corporation with the reach of Coca-Cola. There are a variety of themes that resonate through the case including, but not limited... »

How to Establish and Manage a Social Business at the Bottom of the Pyramid: The Case of OSRAM in Africa

30 June 2011 | Cases | Development, Energy

Case Abstract Since September 2008 OSRAM runs a social business following the triple bottom line, which means that it has to be socially, environmentally and financially sustainable. The project, which provides light to regions that do not have power supply systems, was initiated at the Lake Victoria in Kenya. Using the latest technology and a totally new business model OSRAM is able to satisfy the needs of the poor, people who live at the bottom of the pyramid. The core of the project is the O-Hub, a charging station with 48 solar panels on the roof, which are used for recharging batteries for illumination, mobile phones and other electric devices as well as for cleaning and purifying drinking... »

Green Works: The Clorox Company Goes Green

30 June 2011 | Cases | Marketing

Case Abstract The Clorox Company launched green household cleaning products line GreenWorks in 2008 and immediately commanded 40% of the market. Following stagnant sales in the early 2000’s due to fierce competition with Procter and Gamble, Unilever and others, the company made a bold move into the green consumer market with the launch of GreenWorks, acquisition of Burt’s Bees natural personal care products, and a strategic partnership with the Sierra Club. The case tracks the history of the Clorox Company and its competition to differentiate from larger, more diversified rivals, and its methodical approach to launching GreenWorks. Increasing interest by a new market segment that valued health, quality, and environmental values buoyed the success of small natural products... »

Burgerville: Sustainability and Sourcing in a QSR Supply Chain

30 June 2011 | Cases | Consumption, Supply Chain

Case Abstract Burgerville, a local quick-serve restaurant chain in the Pacific Northwest prides itself on its attention to keeping its menu items “Fresh, Local, Sustainable.” A family-owned business with deep social values, Burgerville prides itself on leadership in environmental and social initiatives. While Burgerville sells hamburgers, milkshakes and fries, they highlight ingredients that are particular to their locale and emphasize seasonal specials. Burgerville’s demand for scarce ingredients places particular importance on the relationships it forms with local producers who share a passion for fresh, local and sustainable food.  Jack Graves, Chief Cultural Officer for Burgerville, however, is encountering a difficult decision for sourcing enough chicken for all 39 restaurants. Without a current supplier that meets Burgerville’s high standards... »

Renewable energy

30 June 2011

 Sustainability is today one of the key words of our reality, our history teaches us that the natural environmental needs respect and protection. That’s where the renewable energy and the referred technologies come from. The principle is that we need to use what Mother Nature offer us without to waste the resources of the environment. This means that the human impact on the environment should be the less massive and invasive ever and in order to respect this goal, we have to study new ways to use the natural resource all around us. In this terms, the renewable energy is meant as a form of energy that comes from natural resources that are replenished on a human timescale.... »

oikos Newsletter June 2011

04 June 2011 | Newsletters

Discover in our June edition how people just like you make a difference asstudents, academics or as alumni and find out how to get involved! Apply for the oikos International Economics Academy  Check out the 2011 Case Writing Competition winners Be a Student Reporter at the World Resources Forum  For regular updates, follow our oikos Facebook page Read more... »