TATA Power: Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability

Case Abstract The case describes the strategic dilemma involved while taking the decision on the ‘modus operate’ of CSR department for one of the leading Indian MNCs (‘Tata Power Company’ from Tata Group of Companies). TPC had undertaken the CSR activities for decades reflecting the company’s commitment towards sustainable energy generation without undue compromise to human and environmental development. These activities were undertaken as the voluntary initiative by the employees of TPC and there was no separate entity as ‘CSR department’ as of now. However with the large scale expansion, the need to have CSR as a separate entity was felt. The dilemma for the decision manager (Col. Prakash Tewari) was whether to go for separate CSR department... »

Sustainability Amidst Uncertainty: Columbia Forest Products’ Pursuit of Sustainability in a Changing Market

30 June 2009 | Cases

Case Abstract From its humble beginnings as a small shuttered plywood mill, Columbia Forest Products has grown to be one of the largest players in the U.S. hardwood plywood products market. This case follows the company’s introduction of a new sustainable plywood product in an extremely competitive and economically challenging market place. At the point in the case, the construction of new homes had fallen across the United States. The fate of Columbia Forest Products (CFP) was tightly bound to the US housing market.  CFP has over a 40% market share in hardwood plywood products, most of which go into new home construction.  Further, over the past three years, CFP has embarked on a journey into sustainability.  This... »

The ReUse People: Scrap to Sales

30 June 2009 | Cases | Conservation, Waste

Case Abstract 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.... »

Coca-Cola India’s Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy

30 June 2009 | Cases | Consumption, Resources

Case Abstract This case is about Coca-Cola’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives in India. It details the activities taken up by Coca-Cola India’s management and employees to contribute to the society and community in which the company operates. Coca-Cola India being one of the largest beverage companies in India, realised that CSR had to be an integral part of its corporate agenda. According to the company, it was aware of the environmental, social, and economic impact caused by a business of its scale and therefore it had decided to implement a wide range of initiatives to improve the quality of life of its customers, the workforce, and society at large. However, the company came in for severe criticism... »

Kapai New Zealand: Eat Your Greens!

Case Abstract By August 2007, Kapai New Zealand Limited had grown from an idea to two salad stores with two more on the way, and ambitions for national and international expansion. James Irvine and Justin Lester had returned from their travels abroad, keen to start a successful business, and to promote both their country and healthy eating.  Despite their big ambitions, they were resource-poor, both in time and money.  James was doing daily management of the salad stores, and Justin, who had a day job elsewhere, was working after-hours on strategic and operational plans. Franchising struck them as a good way to quickly grow the salad store business ahead of competitors also planning expansion – and to ultimately... »

Jamii Bora and Kaputei Town: Affordable and Sustainable Housing for Urban Slumdwellers

30 June 2009 | Cases

Case Abstract In late 1999, Ingrid Munro founded a savings-related microloan organisation in Nairobi, Kenya with 50 women who had previously been desperate street beggars.  The organisation is called “Jamii Bora” (which means “good families” in Kiswahili) and is based on the premise that very poor people can lift themselves from poverty via the option to borrow twice what they are able to save.  It grew rapidly, to nearly 200,000 members, in part because it employs only members and is thus able to quickly and appropriately respond to members’ needs. For example, when it became apparent that health issues were affecting members’ ability to work and survive, Jamii Bora rapidly developed full coverage health and life insurance programmes... »

Michelin’s Strategic Partnership with Indigenous People

30 June 2009 | Cases | Supply Chain

Case Abstract In June 2004, Jim Morrison, Human Resources Manager of Michelin’s Bridgewater Plant, was reflecting on the Aboriginal Workforce Participation Initiative (AWPI) Partnership Agreement that the company signed the previous November. He had a nagging feeling that there was little progress in increasing the representation of Aboriginal peoples at Michelin, and wondered why it was so difficult to get results. At the same time, he wondered about the Advisory Council that was one of the key aspects of the agreed partnership process. Was it really necessary? Wouldn’t it be easier and more effective for the company to work directly with the partner organisations, rather than set up this council? How would it work – and what would... »

The Ambrose Hotel: Eco-Labeling Strategies for Sustainable Lodging

Case Abstract 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. This case 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. The students are asked to evaluate the costs and benefits associated with adopting an emerging eco-label such as the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design accreditation for Existing Buildings (LEED EB) label. The case examines whether there are any advantages... »

Exiting in a State of Grace: Can Death be Sustainable?

30 June 2008 | Cases | Conservation, Growth

Case Abstract By August 2007, Deborah Cairns and Fran Reilly had been in business just a year and their alternative, family-directed funeral business had already won a regional sustainable business award. Based in Auckland, New Zealand, State of Grace offered clients socially and environmentally friendly alternatives including involving families where possible in keeping the deceased at home without embalming, and the use of natural products including eco-caskets. Deborah and Fran appreciated there were plenty of challenges in providing more socially responsible, natural alternatives to traditional funerals and current modes of burial and cremation. Now their fledgling business is gaining momentum, the two women were trying to find the balance between how much and how fast to grow the... »

Scojo Foundation: A vision for Growth at the Base of the Pyramid

Case abstract   Scojo Foundation uses a market-based approach to sell affordable reading glasses to the poor. While it had been another successful year for Scojo, Jordan Kassalow, Chairman and Co-Founder of Scojo Foundation, knew that the next 12 months would be critical in fulfilling the vision of the organisation he and Scott Berrie had founded five years before. There were a number of decisions he and his team would have to make before the board meeting the following month. What distribution channel or combination of distribution channels would allow them to scale their business and societal impact most effectively? Should the emphasis of their mission be placed on increasing access to reading glasses or on developing entrepreneurs?... »