Rainforest Expeditions: Planning for the Future

by: Gautam Kaul, Kate Elliott

Publication Date: October 7, 2009
Length: 16 pages
Product ID#: 1-428-799

Core Disciplines: Accounting/Finance, Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Sustainability

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Teaching Note

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2004 marked the 15th anniversary of the founding of the ecotourism company Rainforest Expeditions (RFE). A decade and a half of experience led the company’s cofounders, Eduardo Nycander and Kurt Holle, to gain international exposure and praise for their environmentally and socially responsible business practices in the heart of the Peruvian Amazon. Most notable among their socially responsible endeavors was the Ese’eja Ecotourism Project, an agreement signed by RFE and Peru’s native Ese’eja people. The Ese’eja Ecotourism Project agreement is to expire in 2017, giving the Infierno community and Rainforest Expeditions the option to discontinue their partnership. For Nycander and Holle, expiration of the contract could mean losing access to the most profitable lodge associated with their company. This case explores RFE’s options in anticipation of 2017.

Teaching Objectives

After reading and discussing the material, students should:

  • describe appropriate business terms and principles approriate to this case,
  • apply critical concepts from earlier learning to define a solution to the case,
  • successfully articulate data and information in support of the solution proposed,
  • critically analyze and discuss other responses and solutions to the case,
  • draw lessons from the case analysis,
  • generalize the learnings of this case to other business challenges and decisions in organizations other than the one analyzed in this case study,
  • demonstrate leadership and scholarship in analysis.