Tea and Sustainability at Unilever: Turning Over a New Leaf (A) (pdf abstract)

Purchase the full report on GlobaLens (Case study #1-429-413) – published 02/2015, 12 pages

By: Andrew Hoffman

Description: Michiel Leijnse, global brand development director of Lipton Tea, faces a very important meeting with Unilever CEO Patrick Cescau in a few short hours, during which he will recommend strategies on how Lipton can become credible with consumers, obtain sustainable certification, integrate sustainable practices into its entire supply chain, and tell customers about it. He has to consider the financial implications of the decision and demonstrate a reasonable return on investment. Would there be a first-mover advantage for Unilever or would the company be paving the way for its competitors to sustainably source tea without the investment? He would also have to recommend a certification agency and craft a plan for implementation of the change.

Teaching Note: Available to Registered Educators. Please login to view it.

Teaching Points: After reading and discussing this case, students should be able to:

  • Understand the market for sustainable products.
  • Recognize the importance of having a partner’s credibility and evaluate the risks and rewards of partnerships for both big organizations and local non-profit organizations.