The Business of Sustainability
The word sustainability as used at MIT Sloan includes social equity, economic development, and environmental restoration. For a more in-depth description of sustainability please go to http://mitsloan.mit.edu/sustainability.
- Environmental Management at IBM (A): Making Sustainability Sustainable through Passion and Process
Authors: Rebecca M. Henderson, Paulina Ponce de León BaridóEnvironmental management had been an important facet at IBM dating back to the 1970s. The case describes the company’s efforts in creating and managing sustainable practices.
- Environmental Management at IBM (B): Energy Conservation and Climate Stewardship
Authors: Rebecca M. Henderson, Paulina Ponce de León BaridóThis case describes in detail IBM’s 35-year history of energy conservation and the results of some of those efforts.
- Fair Trade Coffee: The Mainstream Debate
In 2008, the Fair Trade Coffee market was facing a growth crisis. Many in the industry believed that survival would require mainstreaming Fair Trade Coffee into nonspecialty brands like Folgers and Maxwell House. However, the question was whether a mainstreaming strategy would compromise the economic and social standards that were at the heart of Fair Trade.
- Materials Pooling (A): Opportunity and Potential of the Sustainability Consortium
Authors: John Carroll, Art Kleiner, Joe Lauer, Benyamin Lichtenstein, Chris Page
This case series describes the concept of materials pooling as a sustainability strategy for businesses and the challenges that such collaborations encounter.
- Materials Pooling (B): Challenges to a Collaboration for Sustainability
- Materials Pooling (C): Pitfalls and Learning from Collaboration
- Nike Considered: Getting Traction on Sustainability
In 2008, Hannah Jones, Nike’s new VP of Corporate Responsibility, wanted the company to be a leader in creating sustainable footwear, and subsequently developed a strategy for working with the product units to do so. Questions remained about whether Nike was on the right track and if the company was doing enough in the sustainability arena.
- SunPower: Focused on the Future of Solar Power
Authors: Joel Conkling, Rebecca M. Henderson, Scott RobertsIn late 2006, SunPower designed, manufactured, and delivered the most efficient solar cells in the world. At a time when many experts believed solar technology would grow quickly, SunPower needed to decide whether to maintain market share through a strategy of differentiated technology or pricing.
- Vermont City Electric
In late 2008, Vermont City Electric (VCE), a municipal electric utility company, needed to determine which investments in demand-side management (DSM) programs to undertake in the context of the budget restrictions it faced. Based on the information contained in the case, students must construct and solve a mixed-integer optimization model of VCE’s operations over a six-year planning period in order to determine which DSM programs to implement and what the cost and carbon impact of these programs will be.