Method’s environmentally friendly cleaning products were rapidly gaining market share, both domestically and overseas. Due to its 2012 acquisition by Belgian cleaning brand Ecover, Method now had access to Ecover’s expertise in building eco-friendly factories, as well as the capital necessary to build Method’s first manufacturing plant. Method can either build a factory on previously undeveloped land, known as a greenfield, or they could redevelop and recover an existing industrial site, known as a brownfield. The case highlights Method’s founders’ interest in the revitalization of inner cities, as well as the brand’s commitment to environmental and social responsibility. It also explores the challenges and benefits of brownfield vs. greenfield development.
Breaking Ground: Method and the Brownfield vs. Greenfield Debate
by: Andrew Hoffman
Core Disciplines: Economics, Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Operations Management/Supply Chain, Social Impact, Strategy & Management, Sustainability
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After reading and discussing the material, students should:
- Examine the challenges associated with Triple Bottom Line decision-making processes
- Evaluate the merits and challenges of greenfield and brownfield development, including costs, benefits, tradeoffs, environmental impacts, and societal implications
- Identify influential factors affecting regional expansion decisions