March 5, 2012
Patagonia B: Encouraging Customers to Buy Used Clothing (pdf abstract)
Purchase the full report on Patagonia B: Encouraging Customers to Buy Used Clothing (Case study #1-429-231) – published 03/2012, 6 pages.
By: Allyson Johnson, Courtney Lee, Steven Rippberger, and Morgane Treanton / Andrew Hoffman, Faculty Advisor
Description: How do you make money when you tell your customers ‘don’t buy our stuff unless you really need it?’” This was the question that Yvon Chouinard, founder of the clothing company Patagonia, asked himself as he considered developing a new partnership with eBay in which customers would buy and sell used Patagonia gear on eBay rather than buy it new. As he considered this new partnership, Chouinard would have to balance the environmental priorities upon which Patagonia was founded with its financial well-being. This is a two-part case. Part A presents the decision which Chouinard is considering, while Part B presents the decision that Chouinard chose. This case presents the decision about a potential partnership with eBay that Yvon Chouinard, founder of the clothing company Patagonia, chose to pursue. This case accompanies the Patagonia (A) case.
Teaching Note: Available to Registered Educators. Please login to view it.
Teaching Points: After discussing this case study, students will be able to:
- Explore a company that has incorporated sustainability and CSR into the core of its long-term business strategy.
- Analyze how and why strategic options differ between public and private companies, and how these differences can influence the successful adoption or execution of sustainability strategies.
- Identify critical components of a successful sustainability strategy and the competitive advantages that such a strategy can confer.
- Discuss and analyze common business concepts such as “minimize costs,” “maximize profits,” and “maximizing business growth.”
- Consumer Products
- Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
- Environmental Sustainability
- Strategic Management
January 30, 2012
Laurie Kaye Nijaki is an Erb Institute Post Doctoral Candidate-
Erb Brown Bag Colloquium Series
12:00 – 1:30pm
Details and Abstract
December 22, 2011
Robert Kuhn Presentation February 7, 2012 on Value Chain GHG Emissions Accounting
Return to Talk Details
Talk: 12:30-2 PM in EO550 (no registration required)
Corporate greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions account for a significant percentage of overall global GHG emissions. Aware of this significant environmental impact, companies today are learning that it’s important to gather and communicate data about their GHG emissions if they truly want to become “sustainable” companies. Since 2004, companies have had a tool to measure and report GHG emissions from their operations and energy purchases: the GHG Protocol’s “Corporate Standard for Accounting and Reporting.” In an effort to give companies a tool that can help them quantify and report GHG emissions in areas of their value chain outside of their own operations, in October 2011 the GHG Protocol published a new standard, the “Value Chain (Scope 3) Standard for Accounting and Reporting.” This new standard covers those areas of corporate business activity that create an “indirect” carbon footprint; experts believe that it will rapidly become the de facto tool of choice for companies that want to collect and report data so that they can improve their value chain processes and their products to lessen environmental impacts.
This presentation will begin by setting the context for corporate value chain GHG emissions accounting and reporting as this tool relates to overall corporate sustainability goals. We will then explore the reasons for and history of the development of the Value Chain Standard. A significant portion of the presentation will be devoted to a review the key requirements for adhering to the Standard. The talk will also outline how companies are preparing to use the Standard as a part of their sustainability program and talk about the challenges they face in accomplishing this goal. Finally, we will review a case study from an ongoing GHG emissions inventory project for a major U.S. fashion house that is currently being led by the speaker’s consulting firm. Time will be reserved for audience questions.
Mr. Kuhn is a frequent speaker and published writer about environmentally‐sustainable business practices. Mr. Kuhn is a member of GHG Protocol Stakeholder Advisory Group, APICS (The Association for Operations Improvement), the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, the Institute for Supply Management and the Institute of Management Consultants USA.
Sign up for breakfast with Robert Kuhn (first come first)
December 22, 2011
Erb Speaker Series
12:40 – 2:00 pm,
light refreshments will be served
Robert W. Kuhn is a sustainability consultant to companies throughout the product supply chain. With over a decade of senior corporate management experience, Robert has extensive strategy development and process re‐engineering experience that benefits his firm’s clients as they design and implement sustainability initiatives. Mr. Kuhn was President and CEO of a privately‐held manufacturing company serving the electrical, electronics and hobby markets, from 1991 to 2002.
Co-sponsored by the Erb Institute, Tauber, Ross Net Impact and the Student Government Association.
Talk Details and Breakfast Signup
November 21, 2011
A public lecture by Michael J. Dunne, author American Wheels, Chinese Roads
November 30, 5:00 – 6:00 pm
Blau Auditorium, Ross
Reception and Book Signing: 6:00 – 6:45 pm
Author Mike Dunne (U-M BA, MBA/MA in Asian Studies) will discuss his recent book, highlighting how GM’s executive team navigated the challenges posed by China’s complex and unique business environment.
Watch the Video
November 1, 2011
Detroit Dirt has a vision of putting the city’s most abundant resource to work—land. Vacant land can employ people in the community, establish youth led businesses and educational programs, while simultaneously developing sustainable neighborhoods by creating community gardens. The vision of Detroit Dirt is to regenerate waste into organic materials –namely compost – for the revitalization of Detroit using the ecosystem as a guide and model for creating sustainable businesses. Detroit Dirt has also worked closely with General Motors to help the company reduce the amount of waste that it produces and to improve GMs facilities with sustainable enhancements.
Detroit Dirt was co-founded by Greg Willerer and Pashon Murray. Greg Willerer is a former teacher in the Chicago and Detroit school systems. He started Brother Nature farms three years ago in Detroit’s Corktown. Greg has been featured in Time Magazine for his positive impact on the urban farming movement in Detroit. Currently, Greg sells his produce to local restaurants and farmer markets. Greg Willerer has experienced and proved that urban farming in the city of Detroit can provide an income, help the environment, and make a major contribution to Detroit’s food systems.
Pashon Murray has extensive experience starting new businesses as an entrepreneur, working in areas of community development, education and land development. Pashon’s professional career spans several years and is uniquely diverse, focusing in areas of marketing, lobbying and corporate initiatives concentrating in sustainability. Pashon has had the opportunity to build some great professional relationships and social capital with Associated Builders Contractors (ABC), Repower America, Michigan Works, Oakland Community College, Sierra Club, National Wildlife Federation (NWF), The City of Grand Rapids, and The Alliance for Climate Protection, and Wayne State University. Pashon is very passionate about the environment and she has dedicated her life to environmental justice and campaigning for clean energy.
John Bradburn is a Staff Environmental Engineer with GMs Real Estate and Facilities Group, Energy and Environment, Global Environmental Programs. John’s current job responsibilities include implementing process and product technology improvements on a global basis that reduce environmental impacts and costs. These improvements include working with suppliers, product and manufacturing engineers as well as external stakeholder groups from a Design for the Environment (DfE) perspective to improve the global environment.
John has been recoginized by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), Environmental Excellence in Transportation group, with four Environmental Excellence in Transportation awards for material development and usage as well as reuse and recycling projects. He has also received numerous GM internal environmental recognitions and is responsible for GMs Design for the Environment (DfE) activities, including the landfill free initiative. To date, this program has resulted in over half of GMs global manufacturing operations (76) and 13 non-manufacturing operations eliminating all manufacturing waste from entering landfills.
October 19, 2011
Sunday, October 30
11am -12:30 pm in the Ross School of Business, 6th Floor Colloquium Room
Talk will be followed by Q&A
Dan Ariely is a professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke. He authored the best sellers “Predictably Irrational”, and “The Upside of Irrationality.”
Using simple experiments Dan Ariely studies how people actually act in the marketplace, as opposed to how they should or would perform if they were completely rational. His interests span a wide range of daily behaviors and his experiments are consistently interesting, amusing, and informative, demonstrating profound ideas that fly in the face of common wisdom. Dan is the James B. Duke Professor of Psychology & Behavioral Economics at Duke University, where he holds appointments at the Fuqua School of Business, the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, the School of Medicine and the department of Economics.
Sponsored by the Erb Speaker Series. Free and open to the public
Watch the Video
October 17, 2011
Read Lyon and Shimshack’s followup blog post: Does the Stock Market Care about Newsweek’s Green Rankings? (html)
September 23, 2011
Thomas P. Lyon, University of Michigan
Jay P. Shimshack, Tulane University and Erb Institute Visiting Scholar
Corporate-level environmental information disclosure is increasingly common. We study the impact of a prominent media-generated sustainability ratings program, Newsweek’s 2009 ranking of the 500 largest US firms. Using an event study methodology, we find the rankings had a significant impact on shareholder value. Firms in the top 100 experienced abnormal returns after the information release that were 0.6 – 1.0 percent higher than returns of firms in the bottom 400. The form of the information released had significant effects as well. Nuanced environmental score variables had no independent impact on market outcomes; only the final ranking mattered. We also explore possible channels through which the rankings may have had their impact. We find suggestive evidence that private and public politics mechanisms were the most important.