PerkinElmer: Old Instrument Reuse and Recycling
(10 pages of text)
This case examines the business options for implementing a company-wide product take-back program. It focuses on PerkinElmer, a $1.9 billion global technology company developing diagnostics and biomedical products for the environmental and human health sectors. The company, which operates in more than 150 countries, is committed to community engagement, sustainable and ethical business practices and eco-innovative products, including a commitment to continuously reducing the environmental and health impacts of its products throughout their useful lives. As of 2012, PerkinElmer was required to comply with two European Union regulations restricting hazardous substances and monitoring the disposal of electronic waste, but there were no similar broad-based federal U.S. regulations at that time. One of the European Union directives required the company to practise end-of-life management, that is, to take back and responsibly manage its products at the end of their useful lives. PerkinElmer used a study group at Boston College to examine the different options for handling old products and to discover if there was a profitable or at least profit neutral business model for doing so, in light of what its competitors were doing in this area. If the benefits outweigh the risks, how should the company roll out a corporate-wide product take-back strategy?
This case is appropriate for undergraduate, MBA and executive students who are being introduced to the concepts of sustainability strategy, green products and product stewardship/eco-innovation. It can also be incorporated into a class on customer relations, marketing strategy or corporate social responsibility.
It could be taught as an example of developing both a competitive environmental strategy based on customer demand and a new business model of product remanufacturing or as an example of proactive environmental and brand management to avoid potential risks of emerging product take-back regulations.
It introduces students to the concepts of product stewardship and end-of-life management and helps them understand the regulatory and non-regulatory drivers for end-of-life management; advances student ability to understand and value intangibles such as reputation, customer relationships and innovation; develops critical thinking skills and the ability to analyze complex business situations and helps students identify business opportunities in reducing resource consumption and extending product life.
Health Care Services
United States, Large, 2012
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