WaterHealth International: Providing Safe Drinking Water to the Bottom of the Pyramid Consumers

30 June 2010 | Cases | Development, Resources

Case Abstract This case study is about Irvine, California-based WaterHealth International Inc. (WHI), a social purpose for-profit venture in the safe water sector, focused on serving the traditionally underserved ‘Bottom of the Pyramid’ (BoP) segment. The company’s aim was to ensure increasing returns for the company and its investors while achieving a social impact. Developing countries face a water crisis with more than 2 billion people lacking access to potable water and often having to rely on contaminated water resources. This has led to children suffering from diminutive growth due to water-borne diseases. In addition to deaths and economic loss, women and girls, on whom the burden of obtaining water falls, have to trek long distances and spend... »

So You Want to be a Social Entrepreneur: Starting Out, Scaling Up, Staying Committed

30 June 2010 | Cases | Development, Resources

Case Abstract The global water crisis is a silent crisis. It does not attract the same level of attention as airline accidents or plummeting economic statistics, yet its toll is far more staggering: more than 3 billion illnesses and 2 million deaths result from drinking contaminated water each year. These casualties take place almost exclusively in the developing world and the rural poor bear the brunt of the burden. Hippo Water International (HWI) is U.S.-based nonprofit organization that aims to improve access to water by implementing sustainable solutions to the global water crisis. HWI’s flagship product is the Water Roller, an innovative water transportation tool that carries water inside its “wheel,” transforming 200 pounds (90 kg) of water... »

Portland Roasting Company: Farm Friendly Direct

Case Abstract This case describes the issues and dilemmas facing a company in their efforts to differentiate their product through a social sustainability programme. Over the years, the company has built a strong reputation with their sustainability efforts, particularly amongst their peers in the specialty coffee industry. There is some question as to whether this reputation has been visible to consumers and if consumers see the value-proposition.  The case covers the history of coffee, the specialty coffee industry, the supply chain and roles of different participants, and the competitive landscape. Furthermore, most of the competitive eco-labels and certification schemes are discussed.  The reader is asked to decide the appropriate method for conveying the company’s social sustainability efforts to... »

Lululemon’s commitment to the environment: A tangle of seaweed, suppliers, and social responsibility

30 June 2010 | Cases | Marketing, Supply Chain

Case Abstract This case introduces Lululemon, an athletic and yoga wear retailer, and their commitment to the environment. The company was founded on its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative, and took pride in its innovative approach towards the environment. The company trusted the suppliers with which it had relationships, and believed the products it was buying were as the suppliers described. Lululemon, faced with pressure to expand and maximise profits while maintaining its CSR pledge to the environment and innovation, found itself in a difficult position when an environmentally-friendly fiber it used for a clothing product was determined to be marketed falsely. Globalisation is an inevitable facet of today’s business world. Many companies rely on manufacturers and suppliers... »

Hunghom Peninsula in Hong Kong (A), (B) & (C): A Realistic Call for Corporate Social Responsibilities

30 June 2010 | Cases | Management

Case abstract Hunghom Peninsula was a residential building complex with a superior location in Hong Kong.  The harbour-view flats were originally built under the government’s abandoned Private Sector Participation Scheme, a program intended to provide affordable housing for middle-class residents. Fears by wealthy land owners and developers that the scheme would erode property values in a shrinking market led the government to abandon the subsidized housing scheme altogether in 2002. The two developers, New World Development Company Limited (NWD) and Sun Hung Kai Properties Limited (SHKP), Hong Kong’s two biggest developers which had been engaged in the construction of Hunghom, subsequently came forward to take ownership of Hunghom Peninsula. After taking the project, the consortium announced the demolition... »