June '21

Case Folio
The IUP Journal of Management Case Studies

Focus

Global issues such as climate change and waste management need to be addressed immediately and companies can play an important role in combatting such issues. There is also a need for business schools to include issues around climate change and sustainability in their curriculum, and one of the best ways to do this is through cases studies.

The first case, the award-winning case, "SC Johnson and the Global Ocean Plastic Crisis" by Syeda Maseeha Qumer and the late Debapratim Purkayastha, discusses S C Johnson & Son, Inc.'s (SCJ) efforts to tackle the global crisis of plastic waste in oceans. It highlights how SCJ's CEO and Chairman, H Fisk Johnson (Johnson), is bringing global attention to the issue of ocean plastic by raising awareness about the crisis and potential solutions by reaching out to people around the globe. The case explores how ocean plastic pollution is a complex environmental issue and the role companies like SCJ can play to combat it.

The next case, also an award-winning case, "Sistema Biobolsa: Addressing Challenges of Climate Change, Sustainable Agriculture and Waste Management in Mexico" by Indu Perepu, chronicles the innovation in bio-digester technology by Alex Eaton and Camilo Pages through a social enterprise in Mexico called 'Sistema Biobolsa'. Sistema Biobolsa addressed several challenges that small and marginal farmers in Mexico and across the world faced-low yielding land due to excessive use of chemical fertilizers, lack of organic fertilizers, unviable waste disposal methods and limited access to energy.

The third case, "Amazon Web Services' Efforts Toward Green Computing", by Koti Vinod Babu and Namratha V Prasad, discusses the efforts made by leading cloud service provider Amazon Web Services (AWS), a subsidiary of Amazon.com, Inc. (Amazon), to adopt green computing practices in its operations. While Amazon was confident that the green computing measures deployed by AWS were contributing to environmental sustainability to a great extent, non-governmental environmental organizations such as Greenpeace begged to differ.

The last case, "Bectors Food: From a Backyard Enterprise to the Most Successful IPO of 2020", by Jitesh Nair and Ramakrishna Sadhu, describes how Rajni Bector (Rajni) converted her hobby and passion for ice cream making, baking, and cooking into a commercial success. What began as a backyard enterprise in 1978 grew over the years into a multi-million-dollar family business with a successful IPO in 2020.

-A V Vedpuriswar
Consulting Editor

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SC Johnson and the Global Ocean Plastic Crisis
50
Sistema Biobolsa: Addressing Challenges of Climate Change, Sustainable Agriculture and Waste Management in Mexico
50
Amazon Web Services' Efforts Toward Green Computing
50
Bectors Food: From a Backyard Enterprise to the Most Successful IPO of 2020
50
       
Contents : (June' 2021)

SC Johnson and the Global Ocean Plastic Crisis
Syeda Maseeha Qumer and Debapratim Purkayastha

The case discusses S C Johnson & Son, Inc.'s (SCJ) efforts to tackle the global crisis of plastic waste in oceans. It highlights how SCJ's CEO and Chairman H Fisk Johnson (Johnson) is bringing global attention to the issue of ocean plastic by raising awareness of this crisis and potential solutions by reaching and engaging people around the globe. The case explores how ocean plastic pollution is a complex environmental issue and the role companies like SCJ can play to combat it. SCJ is doing its part to address the problem of plastic pollution in oceans, including committing to make 100% of its plastic packaging recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025, and signing the New Plastic Economy Global Commitment to help create a circular economy. SCJ had partnered with social enterprise Plastic Bank to increase recycling while helping address poverty. It had also launched the first 100% recycled ocean plastic bottle in its major home cleaning brand, Windex. However, the company faced some challenges in its fight against ocean plastic waste including complexity of the plastic value chain, making improvements in waste management, lack of adequate government regulations, and in changing consumer behavior towards plastic use. With ocean plastic waste being such a critical issue for the planet as well as human life, how could SCJ ensure that its commitment goes far enough to drive change on the ground? What can SCJ do to capitalize on its commitment and encourage more consumers to use its 'plastic positive' products?     more »


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Sistema Biobolsa: Addressing Challenges of Climate Change, Sustainable Agriculture and Waste Management in Mexico
Indu Perepu

The case chronicles the innovation in bio-digester technology by Alex Eaton and Camilo Pages through a social enterprise in Mexico called 'Sistema Biobolsa'. It describes how the two social entrepreneurs created an innovative new waste and resource management system by reimagining the 150-year-old biogas production system by using a high-quality membrane, durable modular parts, and anaerobic bio-digesters that transformed animal waste into renewable energy (biogas) and organic fertilizer. Sistems Biobolsa addressed several challenges that small and marginal farmers in Mexico and across the world faced-low yielding land due to excessive use of chemical fertilizers, lack of organic fertilizers, unviable waste disposal methods, and limited access to energy. Sistema Biobolsa converted organic waste into organic fertilizer and renewable energy. Its impact was manifold. With an investment of US$600, a farmer with two cows could save up to US$40 per month in the cost of fuel and fertilizers. The biogas produced was environment-friendly, reduced methane emissions, resulted in better waste management, reduced deforestation, protected the soil, and also improved the quality of life of the farmers. To cater to the needs of different farmers, the bio-digesters were available in several sizes and could be installed within a few hours. After the first month, the farmers could start using the system. The company provided loans to farmers to install the system, and also extended technical support to them in using it. Eaton expanded into Kenya, Colombia, Nicaragua, and India, but there were still many issues that he needed to address. He had to improve distribution to reach more than 4 million small farmers in Mexico. He was looking at making a huge impact to address the issues of global warming and climate change. But, can a small venture in Mexico be scaled up to address these huge global problems?.     more »


© 2021 IUP. All Rights Reserved.

Amazon Web Services' Efforts Toward Green Computing
Koti Vinod Babu and Namratha V Prasad

The case discusses the efforts made by leading cloud service provider Amazon Web Services (AWS), a subsidiary of Amazon.com, Inc. (Amazon), to adopt green computing practices in its operations. The case starts out by going into the reasons for the high level of carbon emissions attributed to the data centers of many cloud platforms that include a rapid addition of capacity and usage of power from dirty energy sources. The case then provides an overview of the green computing practices undertaken by AWS through power purchase agreements with producers of renewable energy and usage of equipment to boost energy efficiency at its data centers. Though different Information Technology (IT) companies have taken up many activities to reduce their carbon footprint, it is believed that each one of them, including AWS, has a long way to go to become completely green. While Jeff Bezos (Bezos), Founder and CEO of Amazon, was confident that the green computing measures deployed by AWS were contributing to environmental sustainability to a high extent, non-governmental environmental organizations such as Greenpeace begged to differ. Can Bezos continue showcasing the current green computing measures of AWS to stave off pressure from not only Greenpeace, but also his employees in the long term? Or will he be forced to do more?     more »


© 2021, IBS Center for Management Research. All rights reserved.

Bectors Food: From a Backyard Enterprise to the Most Successful IPO of 2020
Jitesh Nair and Ramakrishna Sadhu

The case describes how Rajni Bector (Rajni) converted her hobby and passion for ice cream making, baking, and cooking into a commercial success. What began as a backyard enterprise in 1978 grew over the years into a multi-million-dollar family business with a successful IPO in 2020. The case begins with a brief background of Rajni and her early entrepreneurial journey on how she started her own venture and managed it on her own for a decade with support from her husband. The case then focuses on the growth phase of the business beginning with Rajni's three sons joining the business and the subsequent partnership with McDonald's that laid the foundation for its long-term growth and development and helped Bectors Food become the largest supplier of breading, bakery items and liquid condiments to major institutional clients all over India. The case then describes the various steps the company took to create value for the investors and promoters, including seeking private equity participation followed by a restructuring exercise that resulted in the business being split among family members with separate ownership and companies for biscuits, bakery items and liquid condiments. The case also touches upon how the company sought to generate higher growth and wealth creation for the founders and investors by expanding its manufacturing facilities, introducing new products, and focusing on the retail consumer space as well as the exports route. Subsequently, the case touches upon the need for the company to create a well-established distribution network for greater market penetration and to improve brand recall through customer outreach programs. The case ends with a focus on Bectors Food's successful Initial Public Offering (IPO) in December 2020 and its future strategies to improve market share and compete with major brands in the biscuits segment as well as position itself as a household name pan-India across the biscuits, bakery, and liquid condiments markets.     more »


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