You will be required to submit the final written assignment on the last day of the semester (May 26). The written component will consist of all three parts combined into a cohesive narrative format. You will receive feedback from me and the class on your recommendations during your presentation. I would advise that you incorporate that feedback into your final project submittal the week after you present.
Part 1: CSR Analysis and Risk Assessment – due Week 5 (April 21, 2020)
Identify the business you would like to work with to implement sustainability practices. Provide the following information with at least 350 words:
Name of business
Brief description of business model (i.e. how does the business make money)
Brief description of value proposition (i.e. why is the business different from its competitors)
Areas of biggest negative environmental and social impacts/opportunities for improvement (i.e. GHG emissions/government influence for a fossil fuel company, water usage/alcohol abuse for a beer company, server-farm energy use/privacy rights for a social media or tech company)
CSR analysis: Summary of existing sustainability programs (please provide 3 for each category – you will likely need to reference the company’s CSR program)
Part 2: Operational Analysis – due Week 6 (April 28, 2020)
Provide the following information with at least 450 words:
Describe the operations associated with the businesses you are analyzing. If you are analyzing Ford Motor Company, the operations would encompass the designing, building, and delivering cars. If you are studying a social media company, much of the operations revolve around the development and maintenance of server farms.
Identify the top 3 largest impacts on the environment, or on society, associated with the business you are analyzing and describe how the business contributes to these impacts. Is it energy use for a tech company? Deforestation for a food company? Greenhouse gas emissions for a fossil fuel company? Packaging waste for a retailer? Sweat-shop labor for a clothing company?
Business risk analysis – identify three potential risks the business may be exposed to based upon current operations and provide a brief description of each risk. Risks will vary based on business type, but may include supply chain disruption due to climate change, stranded assets due to civil unrest, risks to reputation due to bad business practices or a ‘CSR fail’, government regulation due to citizen outrage, boycotts from consumer dissatisfaction, shortages of raw materials or key resources to manufacture the product, lack of natural capital to make the product at a reasonable cost, etc.
Part 3: Recommendations – due Week 7 (May 5, 2020)
You are a high-paid sustainability consultant. You have been hired by the corporation/business to develop recommendations that will ‘create shared value’ (i.e. implement sustainability programs to reduce costs/increase profitability of the business). Provide the following recommendations for the business for how to further reduce its environmental or societal impacts of its operations in 450 words. These recommendations should build off of the analysis you have done in the previous two assignments.
Operational recommendation 1 – waste reduction
Provide recommendations about how to reduce waste. Identify parts of the value chain that generate large amounts of physical waste and provide recommendations to reduce these materials. This may include identifying and eliminating waste ‘upstream’ in the supply chain, designing products with less packaging, focusing on reducing waste at office locations through recycling/composting programs, behavior change through employee or customer education, etc. Provide recommended waste reduction or recycling targets (i.e. zero waste, percentage landfill diversion by target date). Provide projections/estimates regarding cost savings associated with your recommendations.
Operational recommendation 2 – energy efficiency
Provide recommendations about how to reduce energy usage. Identify parts of the value chain that use large amounts of electricity and provide recommendations to reduce electricity usage. Be specific. Describe how energy efficiency or the installation of renewable energy will increase profitability for the business.
Provide a recommendation to the business that revolves around the ‘human’ side of sustainability that would create shared value for your client (i.e. is connected with the businesses core value proposition). This recommendation can be an employee perk, social programs for employees along the supply chain and/or local community. The recommendation should have a compelling business case (i.e. increased employee retention, productivity, etc.) that you can communicate to your client.
‘Dealer’s choice’ recommendation
Pick a fourth and final recommendation that is sustainability related that you think is a ‘value-add’ for your client and is somewhat unique to your client.
Part 4: Final product and presentation – due week 8 (May 12, 2020)
Put this all together in a pitch deck (i.e. a Powerpoint presentation) to present to your client. You or your team will have 10 minutes to present its recommendations to the client. The deck should consist of the following slides:
Intro to your team and backgrounds
Firm business model and value proposition
Areas of largest environmental impacts
Summary of current operations
Summary of existing CSR programs
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