This brief background note provides an explanation and examples of biomimicry as an approach that provides insights into the innovative design of products and corporate strategy framing. Biomimicry uses nature's laws and successful strategies to inform commercial innovation.
In 2017, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) voted to issue tax-exempt municipal bonds through a competitive bidding process. An associate at Citibank’s (Citi’s) Debt Capital Markets group must define Citi’s bid for the bonds. During the investor lunch, the MBTA promoted that a portion of the issuance would include the first tax-exempt sustainability bond. Green bonds were a rela
This case is used in Darden's course elective on managing corporate communications. It offers students a concise history of The Coca-Cola Company's (TCCC's) brand history before focusing on the importance that TCCC's Office of Sustainability currently plays in the communications strategy for the brand. The case analyzes how the Office of Sustainability works both locally and globally to partner in
This case traces UPS's first corporate sustainability report (CSR), "Operating in Unison," from its origins up to its publication in 2006. It is based on interviews with managers who championed and shaped the report internally. UPS took its CSR quite seriously, basing its reporting and goals on the more stringent Global Reporting Indices (GRIs) as opposed to merely complying with U.S. regulations.
The associate director of the sustainability programs at the Darden School of Business was well aware that much of Darden's solid waste was made up of the disposable cups used for its daily First Coffee event and that somehow First Coffee needed to be refreshed. There had to be a better way to serve coffee and tea to a community of individuals without using disposable cups.
Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) were a signature piece in Wal-Mart's sustainability effort, and although by October 2007, Wal-Mart's goal of selling 100 million CFLs had been achieved, the accomplishment actually highlighted how little CFLs had penetrated the market. With over 100 million households in the United States, this impressive-sounding result actually meant less than one CFL per r
This case is appropriate for courses that focus on the areas of environmental sustainability and systems thinking. Students explore how the structure and information flows in the shrimp industry can create boom and bust performance. Key decision-making policies by industry participants and public administrators are designed and tested for improving industry performance through an in-class simulati
This case fits with courses that have a focus on environmental sustainability and systems thinking, which help students conceptualize and formulate policy recommendations in industries dependent on the conservation of natural resources. Students are asked to construct a stock-flow map that depicts the interactions between markets, pricing, production, policy, and environment impacts. Class discuss
This technical note introduces the concepts and terms entrepreneurial innovators use in addressing sustainability. It explores the evolution of such terms as sustainable development, environmental justice, earth systems engineering, sustainable science, the Natural Step framework, industrial ecology, and biomimicry. It also explores how paradigms are created and replaced.
This minicase is one of 10 in a set of short cases written to illustrate the business benefits companies realize through adopting sustainable business strategies. This case describes the supply chain management and internal changes by Swiss firm Rohner, a commercial fabric manufacturer, as it transformed its strategy from conventional production to benign fabric based on the application of cradle-
A new frontier of innovation exists where economic and population growth collides with natural systems (the environment). This note details the changing character of environmental issues and outlines the opportunities for entrepreneurial thinkers. It provides excellent fodder for discussion of sustainability as an opportunity for corporate innovation.
This is a minicase, one of 10 in a set of short cases written to illustrate the business benefits companies realize through adopting sustainable business strategies. This minicase discusses the formation and implementation of Nike's sustainability strategy in the 1990s through 2006 including changes to product designs and supply chain policies.