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Sheaffer International’s Boom Program

Company name
Sheaffer International

Terry Anderson, Bishop Grewell

Stanford University

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Sheaffer International’s Boom Program

Year published 

Last year covered in case 


Jack Sheaffer had a unique wastewater treatment system that produced no organic sludge, no odor, and was cheaper than conventional systems. He was worried, however, that his business might suffer if there were a turndown in the marketplace. His previous business venture had failed when interest rates rose at the end of the 1970s. He wanted a business plan that would insulate him from marketplace shocks and found it with the BOOM program of build, own, operate, and maintain. BOOM put Sheaffer's company in charge of owning and maintaining the wastewater treatment systems designed by the company. It offered a steady source of income through long-term contracts with food processors, municipalities, and the like. A facility built on the North Fork of the Shenandoah River in northern Virginia would be BOOM's first test.

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 Prevent Waste

Water Treatment

Teaching Topic
Business-Government relations
Community development/Economic development
Environmental issues
Private/Non-profit Partnerships
Social change
Technological change and development

Management Discipline
Business, Government and Society

Business Logic
Managing Environmental Risks
Redefining markets
Reduced Cost
Selling pollution control technologies

Environmental Issue
Water Pollution

Self Identified as Green Chemistry?

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