With a global leadership and sustainability perspective, this case uses SNCF, a state-owned railway and public service company based in France, to set the stage for an analysis of change management in a large company. It also allows for an exploration of sustainable development within the context of a large company. Written from the field, it depicts the firm's overall strategy to adopt sustainable practices and provides an opportunity to introduce basic leadership, strategy, sustainability, and operational terms that can be explored in subsequent classes.
The case opens with a summary of urgent issues that include pressure to present the accounting department with financial metrics to evaluate the sustainable procurement efforts, a public scandal around a supplier that employed undocumented workers, and an influential employee who resists new policies. In a big-picture view, Olivier Menuet, VP for sustainable development, and his boss, Pierre Pelouzet, CPO, want more visibility around sustainable development not only within the procurement function but throughout the organization. How might changes already made at SNCF be driven deeper into the company?