McDonald’s (B1): The Clamshell Controversy

by: Stuart L. Hart

Publication Date: January 1, 2008
Length: 16 pages
Product ID#: 1-428-678

Core Disciplines: Leadership/Organizational Behavior, Strategy & Management, Sustainability

Partner Collection:

Available Documents

Click on any button below to view the available document.

Don't see the document you need? Don't See the Document You Need?
Make sure you are registered and/or logged in to our site to view product documents. Once registered & approved, faculty, staff, & course aggregators will have access to full inspection copies and teaching notes for any of our materials.


Need to make copies?

If you need to make copies, you MUST purchase the corresponding number of permissions, and you must own a single copy of the product.

Electronic Downloads are available immediately after purchase. "Quantity" reflects the number of copies you intend to use. Unauthorized distribution of these files is prohibited pursuant to term of use of this website.

Teaching Note

This product has a teaching note available. Available only to Registered Educators. Please login to view it.


McDonald’s Case (B1) is the second piece in the McDonald’s case series. It describes the decision-making process and subsequent decisions that McDonald’s made regarding its polystyrene “clamshell” sandwich containers. Environmentally concerned customers oppose these containers despite scientific arguments that they are preferred over paper wraps. It contains details on the Life-Cycle Analysis that was adopted, and walks the students through the packaging methodology and analysis. Case B2 should be used as a follow-up to case B1.

Teaching Objectives

After reading and discussing the material, students should:

  • Discuss how to develop partnerships between businesses and environmental groups.
  • Understand how to use life cycle analysis (LCA) for decision making.
  • Analyze how environmental issues impact corporate strategy.