Sustainability at Tetra Pak: Recycling Post-Consumer Cartons
(10 pages of text)
This case explores the problems that Tetra Pak India faced in its ambitious goal of recycling post-consumer cartons (PCC) in India, and the approach that it adopted in overcoming obstacles. It provides a deep understanding of PCC recycling and Tetra Pak’s broad program of incorporating social, environmental, health, and ethical issues in its day-to-day operations. Evident in the case are Tetra Pak India’s efforts to meet environmental objectives and the seemingly insurmountable challenges in India that appeared to prevent it from attaining its goals.
The case offers students an opportunity for an intellectually stimulating discussion on whether or not, and how, Tetra Pak India overcame problems to succeed in its PCC recycling initiative. Students will be able to understand the importance of the partnerships and alliances that Tetra Pak forged with non-governmental organizations, scrap dealers, rag-pickers, commercial establishments, and organizations that championed the cause of the environment. With ever-changing mindsets, increasing regulations, and growing customer expectations in India, Tetra Pak would have to be on its toes to ensure that its success from the PCC recycling initiative could be sustained and scaled up in the future. The case explores how Tetra Pak India could face the challenges of the future.
- To understand why a firm chooses to create sustainable value for itself and its stakeholders, and how it redesigns its operational framework to achieve this value.
- To see how emerging markets pose unique challenges to a multinational firm, especially with regards to environmental issues.
- To appreciate the importance of inter-firm networks and collaboration with NGOs and other local partners to meet mutually beneficial goals.
- To understand how a firm learns through trial and error in a difficult situation (e.g. the informal waste value chain in the developing world) and how the model of engagement with its local partners evolves as the firm experiences both pitfalls and payoffs.
- To explore what could lie beyond operational redesign and how such firms can move toward enhanced value creation for all stakeholders.
India, Large, 2010-2011
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