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UC Berkeley Chou Hall: Can the TRUE Zero Waste Team Overcome Challenges to Achieve Top Certification?

University of California Berkeley Haas School of Business’ Chou Hall sought TRUE Zero Waste certification on a short timeline with limited resources. Stakeholders including faculty, students, custodians, and visitors needed to change wasteful habits and divert waste from landfills.

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Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage: Separating Fact From Fiction

In 2022, the United Nations stated "carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS) can play a significant role in mitigating carbon emissions." Have decades-old pledges to stop fossil fuel use been replaced by capturing emissions?

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Net Zero Climate Commitments: Realistic Goal or Branding Exercise?

Because there is no generally accepted definition of "Net Zero," many companies have decided on their own which metrics are included in tracking their commitments. As a result, many questions around the validity of these claims and their true impact on climate change have been left unanswered.

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Corporate Greenwashing: Are Environmental Claims Just Empty Promises?

Trust in corporate entitles comes into question since consumers, investors, employees, and other interested parties can’t be certain which environmental claims represent real impact on addressing climate change, and which claims are inconsequential.

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Cancel Culture: Corporations Flock to Carbon Offsets to Solve their Climate Problem, but do Offsets Truly Reduce Emissions?

Are offset claims a dangerous distraction because companies can continue business as usual rather than make fundamental changes to their operations?

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Carbon180 in 2021: New Challenges for a New Era

President Joe Biden’s administration promised swift action to mitigate climate change, and Carbon180 was poised to capitalize on its mission with politics on its side.

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Generation Z: Does Climate Change Concern Match Knowledge?

In Fall 2020, 144 MBA students at UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business took a 4-minute 'pop quiz' with eight short questions gauging their general familiarity with climate change. While the quiz was not comprehensive, the results indicated students’ basic knowledge was limited.

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Waste not, want not: Eliminating Patagonia's Pre- and Post-Consumer Textile Waste

Patagonia has set a goal of eliminating all textile waste by 2025. As a leader in the sustainable apparel industry, this includes not only the cut-and-sew scraps and the liability fabrics, but also the end of life for all of its garments.

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Carbon180: Choosing a Winning Strategy for Carbon Removal

Carbon180 must weigh competing strategies to catalyze social change and make key decisions on whether a narrow or broad approach will best achieve the goal of reducing carbon emissions.

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Patagonia: Closing the Loop on Packaging Pollution

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.

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Patagonia's Path to Carbon Neutrality by 2025

This case study describes Patagonia's goal to become carbon neutral by 2025 in an absolute sense -- that is to reduce emissions to zero while still growing the company. Patagonia also wants to achieve absolute carbon neutrality in such a way that other interested companies can replicate.

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Reversing Climate Change Through Sustainable Food: Patagonia Provisions Attempts to Scale a 'Big Wall'

This case study focuses on Birgit Cameron, senior director of Patagonia Provisions, and several of her colleagues at both Patagonia Provisions and Patagonia as they attempt to increase the scale of sustainable agriculture.

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Patagonia: Driving Sustainable Innovation by Embracing Tensions

This case study focuses on Patagonia's Durable Water Repellent (DWR) problem - DWR is a highly effective chemical treatment used to waterproof jackets supporting the quality objective, but it has by-products that are toxic and persist in the environment (undermining the sustainability objective).

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General Mills: Driving Food Systems Change through Regenerative Agriculture

In 2019, global food company General Mills committed to advancing regenerative agriculture on one million acres of farmland by 2030.

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Sustainability Through Open Innovation: Carlsberg and the Green Fiber Bottle

The case follows Danish brewer Carlsberg as it develops the Green Fiber Bottle, a beer bottle made of wood pulp, in collaboration with a startup, a small-to-medium sized enterprise (SME), and a Danish University.

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Rewarding Consumers for Recycling Packaging: Kimberly-Clark Seeks Shared Value

This case describes how Kimberly-Clark is working to encourage consumer recycling of flexible plastic film packaging, which is wrapped around many of its products, including paper towels, toilet paper, and more.

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Levi Strauss & Co.: Driving Adoption of Green Chemistry

This case examines the challenges and opportunities faced by Levi Strauss & Co. (LS&Co.) as it attempts to help establish a cross-industry sustainability initiative to eliminate hazardous chemicals in the apparel supply chain.

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In collaboration with a team of Berkeley-Haas students, the Center for Responsible Business has curated a suite of business cases and articles that are primed to be readily integrated into core MBA curriculum. These sustainable cases encompass the broadest sense of the word to include social, environmental, and economic considerations. This list features cases and articles hosted on the Harvard Business Publishing site, published within the last 10 years that tackle pressing sustainability and responsibility challenges within the corporate space.

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The Berkeley-Haas Case Series is a collection of business case studies written by Haas faculty. Our culture and vision at the Haas School of Business naturally offer distinctive qualities to the Series, filling a gap in existing case offerings by drawing upon lessons from UC Berkeley's rich history and prime location in the San Francisco Bay Area. We seek to publish cases that challenge conventional assumptions about business, science, culture, and politics.

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Berkeley Haas Case Series

A new collection of business case studies from Berkeley Haas

The aim of the Berkeley Haas Case Series is to incite business innovation by clarifying disruptive trends and questioning the status quo.

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