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Cook Composites and Polymers Co.

Company name
Cook Composites and Polymers Co. (CCP)

Author(s)
Deishin Lee, Micheal Toffel and Rachel Gordon

Source
Harvard Business Review

Access this case
Cook Composites and Polymers Co.

Year published 
2008

Last year covered in case 
2007

Abstract

This case describes how a company improves resource efficiency and process quality in its manufacturing process by developing a waste by-product into a new product. The case describes how CCP cleans production equipment between batches using styrene, which becomes a costly hazardous waste. Having worked on minimizing waste for the past 20 years, CCP believed it could not reduce the use of styrene without risking product quality. Instead, CCP was exploring the development of a by-product from its "rinse styrene," but faces uncertainty regarding the operational, financial, and environmental implications of doing so. This case contains data to support quantitative analyses of financial, operational, and environmental issues including some basic life-cycle analysis (LCA) calculations that focus on greenhouse gas emissions.  

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 Reduce Waste

Industry
Paints and Coatings

Teaching Topic
Environmental Issues
Legal/Ethical issues
Organizational design and change
Private/Non-profit partnerships
Social change
Social need as a Business Opportunity
Social process of production
Sustainability

Management Discipline
Business, Government and Society
Management
Operations
Strategy
Technology

Business Logic
Managing environmental risks
Reduced cost 

Environmental Issue
Toxicicty
Waste

Self Identified as Green Chemistry?
No

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