Poppy Barley: Weighing the Costs and Benefits of Sustainability Certification
(6 pages of text)
In November 2016, the co-founders of Poppy Barley Inc. (Poppy Barley) had just finished discussing the company’s fiscal projections and sustainability goals for the upcoming 2017 year. Poppy Barley, a made-to-measure footwear retailer in Edmonton, Alberta, had grown rapidly. The co-founders, who were sisters, wanted to further both their product line and their commitments to corporate sustainability. Would becoming certified as a sustainable business publicize their commitments and values, and improve their triple bottom line? If so, which certification should they choose? On the other hand, given the company’s growth stage, would directing finite resources toward certification detract from other important business areas?
The case can be used in a corporate sustainability, strategy, business, or entrepreneurship course at the undergraduate or graduate level. After working through the case and assignment questions, students will be able to
- understand various third-party sustainability designations;
- design business strategy that aligns with sustainability;
- discuss corporate social responsibility (CSR) and the triple bottom line; and
- explain the role of ethical sourcing in CSR and the triple bottom line.
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