OPIM-271 Environmentally Sustainable Operations and Business Strategies
Spring for 2016-2017
Companies are increasingly facing several new and urgent challenges affecting their operations and business models. The rising cost and scarcity of some raw materials is requiring firms to invest in operational efficiency and recapturing value post-use. Geographical disparities in water, climate and energy risks are inducing firms to proactively redesign their supply chains and operations. The global nature of supply chains, including presence in countries with weak regulation and institutions, requires firms to undertake a new approach to supplier management, and safeguard its reputation and access to resources. On the other hand, these challenges also represent opportunities for product differentiation, innovation, and eco-entrepreneurship. Responding to environmental considerations may provide firms with ways to do well while doing good.
This course takes a holistic view of the interaction of operations and business models with the natural environment. There are many reasons why an organization would care about the interaction of their business with the environment. These include purely business-focused motivations such as potential cost reductions, liability or risk concerns, and ethical ones such as personal or institutional desire for stewardship. In this course, we will mostly utilize a business-oriented perspective by focusing on voluntary or economically-motivated sustainability considerations and initiatives. The course will cover various tools and frameworks that can aid managerial decision making in this context, and will introduce a broad range of environmental issues. We will focus mostly on the environmental dimension of sustainability, but also discuss the social dimension when relevant. Current issues such as global warming, e-waste, and social responsibility will be discussed in the context of a number of cases.
Prerequisites: OPIM 284