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Empowering the Bottom of the Pyramid via Product Stewardship (Tetra Pak)

Company name
Tetra Pak

Renato Orsato, Fernando Von Zuben, Luk Van Wassenhove


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Empowering the Bottom of the Pyramid via Product Stewardship (Tetra Pak)

Year published 

Last year covered in case 


The Tetra Pak aseptic packaging is made of paper, polyethylene and aluminium, which makes recycling difficult. Nonetheless, recycling rates increased from 12% in 2000 to 25% in 2005. Such performance was obtained without any regulations. The product stewardship policy of Tetra Pak made possible the formation of unique entrepreneurial networks. By applying the case, teachers are able to explore: (1) how corporations can minimise the costs of regulations based on extended producer responsibility; (2) the necessary conditions to establish a reverse logistics system for post-consumptive packaging; (3) how product stewardship can influence corporate reputation; (4) how corporate strategies can be used for poverty alleviation; and (5) how environment-driven strategies can generate new management capabilities. 

Teaching note

  • N/A 

Key Management Reading

  • Ambec, S. & Lanoie, P. (2008). Does it pay to be green? A systematic overview. Academy of Management Perspectives. 45-62
  • Reinhardt, F. (1999). Bringing the Environment Down to Earth. Harvard Business Review. July; 149-157 

    Other Readings

    • Wilson M, Schwarzman M, Malloy T, Fanning E, Sinsheimer P. (2008) Green Chemistry: Cornerstone to a Sustainable California. Special Report to the California Environmental Protection Agency. University of California Centers for Occupational and Environmental Health 
    • Poliakoff, M., & Anastas, P. (2001). A principled stance. Nature, 413(6853), 257. 
    • Hjeresen, D.L., Kirchoff, M.M., Lankley, R.L. (2002) Green Chemistry: Environment, economics and competitiveness. Corporate Environmental Strategy, 9(3). 259-266  
    • Manley, Anastas, Cue. (2008) Frontiers in Green Chemistry: meeting the grand challenges for sustainability in R&D and manufacturing. Journal of cleaner production. 16:743-750  
    • Larson, A. (2006) Illustrating the Financial Benefits of Green Chemistry. Darden Business Publishing. Case #: UVA-ENT-0076

    Audio/Visual Material

    Discussion Questions

    • Which principles of green chemistry are used in the case?
    • How do the principles of green chemistry translate into business benefits?

      Green Chemistry Principle

      • Principle 1 Prevention


      Teaching Topic
      Business-Government Relations
      Community Development/Economic development
      Corporate citizenship
      Environmental Issues
      Social Change
      Strategic Alliances
      Technological change and development

      Management Discipline
      Business, government and society 
      Organizational Behaviour

      Business Logic
      Managing Environmental Risks
      Relationships with External Stakeholders 

      Environmental Issue

      Latin America

      Self Identified as Green Chemistry?

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