Patagonia: Closing the Loop on Packaging Pollution
by Sara L. Beckman, Kate O'Neill, Seren Pendleton-Knoll, William Rosenzweig, Robert Strand
Single-use packaging waste is invading all corners of the world. Wholesale change is urgently needed to create packaging that does not wreak havoc on our planet. Due to complicated and global packaging supply chains, the quest for viable and sustainable improvements requires collaboration, innovative technologies, forward-thinking companies, consumer demand, and new government incentives and laws. Patagonia believes a call-to-action is needed throughout the broader business community to not only innovate more environmentally responsible packaging solutions, but to share those solutions to solve a near irreversible crisis. Patagonia, a responsible business pioneer since its founding in 1973, creates apparel, outdoor gear, and food products consistent with its mission: 'We are in business to save our home planet.' This philosophy is evident throughout its business and its venture capital fund, Tin Shed Ventures. Patagonia is searching for solutions to mitigate its own contributions to the single-use packaging crisis.
This case offers instructors opportunities to tackle the global plastic waste crisis at multiple levels: 1. Understand the system dynamics that have created and propagate the plastic waste problem we have today. 2. Examine the supply chain -- including plastic design, manufacturing, use and disposal -- to understand where changes will have to be made to significantly reduce plastic waste. 3. Develop specific options for alternative packaging and assess the effects those changes will have on the supply chain. 4. Focus on a specific stakeholder (e.g., consumers) within the supply chain and how that stakeholder might be motivated to make needed changes (e.g., use less plastic, recycle the plastic that is used more effectively).
Pub Date: Mar 31, 2019
Discipline: Social Enterprise
Subjects: Pollution, Recycling, Innovation, Society and business relations, Consumer behavior, Social responsibility, Green business
Berkeley Haas Case SeriesFollowThe Berkeley Haas Case Series is a collection of business case studies written by faculty members at the Haas School of Business. Cases are conceived, developed, written, and published throughout the year, on subjects ranging from entrepreneurship and strategy to finance and marketing. Each case includes a teaching note for use in the classroom.