Corporate Sustainability: How to Make It LastMaking Ice Cream Since 1978
Back in 1978, two young men with little more than an idea, a loan, and a lease on a converted gas station in Burlington, VT, launched what would become an ice cream empire.
If you know the story of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, you know how that tiny beginning eventually grew into a multi-million-dollar company and a pint of Chunky Monkey in nearly every American freezer.
What made the Ben and Jerry’s brand stand out besides its funky flavors and rich cream? Its commitment to sustainability.
From the beginning, the partners wanted a company positioned to thrive and survive at the intersection of financial sustainability and social responsibility. That commitment remained a constant thread throughout the company’s early years, during its acquisition by Unilever in 2000, and into today’s continuing success.
The company’s mission incorporates the belief that the business, its stakeholders, and the larger community can all prosper together. But to sustain that mission, Ben and Jerry’s had to remain alert and responsive to constantly changing business needs and priorities.Merely running a business on a daily basis is not enough for long-term survival. As customers’ needs and priorities change, a business’s products and services must change to meet those needs, and increasingly sophisticated technologies must be developed to more efficiently support new products and services. As a result, requirements for sustaining a business are constantly in flux.
As if the sheer complexity of the marketplace were not enough, some businesses are also challenged by political, scientific, or religious impacts. This week, you will explore some of these newer challenges to corporate sustainability.
During this final week of the course, you will also have an opportunity to communicate privately with Capella University about your course experience. You will receive an e-mail with a link to a 10-minute survey in which you can provide your end-of-course evaluation. The university captures feedback from these surveys and uses it to improve our courses. Instructors receive a compilation of the evaluations without names or identification of learners. Thank you for taking the time to share your valuable feedback with us.
TO DO LIST
What You Need To Know: Read articles to understand what corporate sustainability is and how it can be achieved.
Assignment: Evaluate and recommend a solution to a business problem of your choosing in a 3–5 page recommendation to an executive board.
Discussion: Participate in the weekly discussion activity in Yellowdig.
Plan: Explore the resources available at the Capella Career Center that can help you successfully plan for and achieve your professional goals.
Interactive Learning Module: Check your understanding of how companies practice corporate sustainability.
Daily Bonus: Monday
Log in every day, Monday through Friday, for a new question.
Each question is worth 1 point of extra credit, and gives you a chance to practice material and learn more about the course.
GO TO DAILY BONUS QUESTION
Discussion OverviewFor this final discussion for the course, choose among three options: share best practices you’ve learned so far for being successful in college, share your plans and considerations for next quarter, or share which readings this week are most relevant to you.
Assignment OverviewFor this week’s assignment, you will evaluate and recommend a solution to a business problem of your choosing. This requires you to define the problem, explain why it is important to the organization, propose and evaluate possible solutions to the problem, and support your recommendation with evidence and sound reasoning. If you began working on the assignment last week, this week, you will finalize the work you have already done and add a section explaining how your recommended solution would increase corporate sustainability.
Important: Your assignment is due on Friday of this week.
What You Need to KnowBenefits and Processes of Sustainability
Duclos, T. G. (2013). Defining corporate sustainability. Machine Design, 85(14), 44.
This one-page article provides a cogent definition of sustainability.
Knieriem, A., Silverman, C., Eichen, S., & Moriarty, K. (2014). Focus on corporate sustainability. The Corporate Governance Advisor, 22(2), 30–34.
This article explores how corporate sustainability efforts can lead to incentives for company leaders.
Lloret, A. (2016). Modeling corporate sustainability strategy. Journal of Business Research, 69(2), 418–425.
This article gets to the heart of how a company can sustain itself for the long term, looking into three different companies and their sustainability initiatives.
Interactive Learning Module: Practicing Sustainability in Business
Before tackling this week’s assignment, check your understanding of the role of sustainability in business by completing this interactive activity.
LAUNCH INTERACTIVE MODULE
Write Your Discussion Post
For this week’s discussion, choose one of the following for your post:
Describe the best tips of college success you discovered this term.
Share what courses you are enrolled in next term and describe what you are excited about or nervous about. If you find others who are taking the same class, consider sending them a courseroom message to connect to be study partners and support next term.
Share which of the readings this week offered information you can immediately use at school, home, or work.
As you respond to your classmates, share your ideas, experiences, and anecdotal feedback regarding their posts. How have your personal experiences resonated with their ideas? What can you add to their ideas, building upon the connections you have made to the material so far? Don’t forget you can love or like their posts as well.
Do the following when writing your post:
Do not create your post as a reply to this pinned post. Instead, use Yellowdig’s Create option to create a new post.
Label your post with the hashtag for the week (#Week 10) so that others can sort posts by the week’s topic.
If you wish, include links to credible or scholarly articles, videos, images, or other Web resources. These resources could be used to support your post or provide examples.
You may also choose to create a slideshow or use audio or video as your discussion post.
For help using Yellowdig, please see Using Yellowdig [PDF] and Grading in Yellowdig [PDF]. Or visit Yellowdig Forums, Capella’s Campus support page for Yellowdig, with links for technical support.
GO TO YELLOWDIG DISCUSSION BOARD
SOLVING A BUSINESS PROBLEM
Prepare for this assignment by selecting a business-related topic. This can be a business topic you would like to research to gain new insight that will be helpful to you in your current work environment, or it might simply be a business topic you are interested in. Some examples of business topics include:
As you choose your topic, think about how knowing more about that topic will improve your career or advance your organization’s mission. Selecting an appropriate topic will enable you to develop a sound argument that is supported by expert knowledge.
Once you have your topic, identify a problem or challenge associated with that topic. For example, if your topic is workplace diversity, the associated problem might be the challenge faced by organizations in creating a productive, healthy, and supportive work environment.
Next, research your topic and problem. Locate 3–7 reputable resources on the topic. The resources you choose will help you to define the focus of your research and writing. For example, if your topic is workplace diversity and your problem is how organizations can create a productive and supportive work environment, your research may lead you to focus on how company policies can influence the work environment. Your research should also help you develop possible solutions to the problem.
Now, suppose the topic and problem you have selected are also primary concerns for your organization’s leadership. You have been asked to research the topic and problem and prepare a written recommendation for the executive board that includes your evaluation of the problem.
Prepare a 3–5 page recommendation for the executive board using the following outline:
Introduction: Problem Statement.
Define the business problem.
Importance of Problem.
Explain how the business problem affects the organization and the consequences of not solving the problem.
Describe possible solutions to the business problem, and explain how each is relevant to the organization.
Advantages and Limitations of Possible Solutions for the Problem.
Explain the advantages and limitations of possible solutions to the business problem, including aspects of costs, efficiencies, and effectiveness.
Recommend a solution to the business problem, and explain how the solution is right for an organization in terms of cost, needs, organizational culture, and effectiveness.
Explain how your recommended solution to the business problem will result in increased sustainability with regard to profit and/or customer and employee satisfaction.
As a summary, justify and support your recommended solution to the business problem with relevant evidence and sound reasoning.
Your recommendation should be 3–5 pages in length, well organized, and written in clear, succinct language. Follow APA rules for attributing sources that support your analysis and conclusions.
Academic Integrity and APA Formatting
As a reminder related to using APA rules to ensure academic honesty:
When using a direct quote (using exact or nearly exact wording), you must enclose the quoted wording in quotation marks, immediately followed by an in-text citation. The source must then be listed on your references page.
When paraphrasing (using your own words to describe a non-original idea), the paraphrased idea must be immediately followed by an in-text citation, and the source must be listed on your references page.
Refer to the scoring guide to ensure that your work meets the grading criteria for this assignment.
Your assignment should also meet the following requirements:
Written communication: Communication should be clear and well-organized, and support a central idea, with no technical writing errors, as expected of a business professional.
References: References and citations are formatted in consistent style, with a preference for using current APA style and formatting.
Number of resources: Use a minimum of three scholarly resources related to the content of the assignment.
Length of paper: 3–5 typed, double-spaced pages in addition to the title and references pages.
Font and font size: Times New Roman, 12 point.
Once you have completed your assignment, submit your paper to SafeAssign as a draft. Review the report and correct any citations you missed or cited incorrectly before submitting your assignment for grading.
Your paper is due by midnight CST Friday.
Your work will be evaluated using this criteria.VIEW SCORING GUIDECompetencies Measured
By successfully completing this assignment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies and scoring guide criteria:
Competency 1: Explain the underlying principles of successful businesses.
Explain how a business problem affects an organization.
Explain how a solution to a business problem will result in increased sustainability.
Competency 3: Solve business problems using critical thinking and effective decision making.
Describe possible solutions to a business problem.
Explain the advantages and limitations of possible solutions to a business problem.
Support a recommended solution to a business problem with relevant evidence.
Competency 5: Communicate in a manner that is scholarly, professional, and consistent with expectations for the field of business.
Organize content so ideas flow logically with smooth transitions.
Apply APA formatting to in-text citations and references.
SUBMIT YOUR ASSIGNMENT
Plan: For Your FutureIt is never too early to plan for your future career in business. Capella’s Career Center was created for you. It includes a wide array of resources and tools to help Capella learners and alumni plan and manage their career at every stage.
The Career Center offers YouTube videos, on-demand tutorials, and written how-to guides on career topics, as well as sessions with live career counselors. You can review your resume, learn how to conduct efficient job searches and interviews, and receive other assistance to help you make the most of your experience and education to achieve your goals.
Take a minute now to watch Welcome to the Career Center
Then take the Career Planning Self-Assessment and consider the results. As you wrap up your work on this course, it is a good time for you to reflect on how you plan to apply what you know on the job and how you can talk about it professionally. Possible opportunities could include performance review conversations, promotion proposals, and salary negotiations, as well as resume accomplishment statements, interview responses, and professional networking conversations.
Here are some of the valuable resources available at Capella’s Career Center that can help you do that:
Competency Translator [PDF].
Using Competencies in Your Career Planning [PDF].
Career Center: Explore.
Career Center: Connect.
Career Exploration Guides.
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