Monique Oxender, chief sustainability officer for Keurig Green Mountain Coffee, is carefully considering the criticism the company has received regarding its plastic K-Cups that deliver a single serving of coffee to consumers through the Keurig brewing system. Billions of the difficult-to-recycle K-Cup pods are ending up in landfills. Keurig Green Mountain has pledged to produce 100% recyclable K-Cups by 2020, but how will it achieve this goal? Oxender must address the environmental impact and public scrutiny of the company’s signature product. However, she must find a way to overcome the inconsistent and sometimes inadequate recycling infrastructure in Keurig’s markets. Students join Oxender in finding the best, workable solutions.
Recycling at Keurig Green Mountain: A Brewing Problem
by: Andrew Hoffman
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After reading and discussing the material, students should:
- Explore the role companies can or should play in addressing broader systemic challenges.
- Analyze how one dark spot in a company’s sustainability profile can overshadow the rest of the positive impact it is having.
- Identify how firms can manage the struggle of finding a single solution for a heterogeneous marketplace.
- Find solutions for firms in situations in which gut reaction sustainability options are not feasible.
- Determine how external pressure be leveraged to facilitate internal change.