Sustainability at Top Shelf Shoes

Sustainability at Top Shelf Shoes

In this course, you will work independently to analyze  sustainability issues for a hypothetical organization. The assignments  follow one another so that you can apply the methods and skills you  learn in each module to develop your Course Project. Each week you will  be asked to prepare a document that addresses the specified topics. In  this assignment, you will begin your analysis.

Outlined below is the scenario for the organization that is the focus of your Course Project—Top Shelf Shoes.

Course Project Scenario: Top Shelf Shoes

Top Shelf was found in 1990 by Tie Woodward. Within five  years, Top Shelf had established a solid presence in the global shoe  business with production facilities in Asia and sales throughout the  world. By 2000, Top Shelf had a share of 45 percent of the global market  in shoe sales. In 2001, Top Shelf made the Fortune 500 list of  privately held companies and Tie was awarded the coveted International  Business Award. However, Tie claimed the real success of his firm could  be seen in the stylish Top Shelf shoes being worn by everyone from  villagers in Africa to rock stars in Hollywood.
In 2003, a major competitor of Top Shelf began a green  marketing campaign to highlight its efforts to reduce its environmental  footprint with its new “Green Shoe.” A simultaneous, growing concern for  environmental issues helped spur the sales of Top Shelf’s competitor—it  gained market share. As the competitor’s sales increased, news stories  began to question the implications of Top Shelf’s business practices,  especially as they related to low cost labor and environmental concerns.  Within a fiscal quarter, Top Shelf sales were down by 10 percent. Tie  responded by exclaiming on the Nightly Business Report that  everyone had to wear shoes and Top Shelf made the best looking and most  affordable foot fixtures on the planet. Sales fell another 5 percent the  following quarter. Tie’s management team attributed this to the  competition’s green efforts and the bad publicity received by Top Shelf.
Tie’s firm hired a middle manager for environmental  affairs and launched a green campaign that touted a Top Shelf  shoe-recycling program with the slogan “We make them, you wear them,  we’ll recycle them. It’s good for your feet and good for the earth.”  Sales climbed back up 7 percent over the next quarter, and the boss gave  out bonuses to his management team.
While initial reaction to the marketing was positive,  especially among longtime Top Shelf shoe wearers, two reporters,  Burnstone and Woodwoe, broke a story about the impact of air and water  pollution at Top Shelf’s shoe-recycling facility on the outskirts of a  major city in Asia. Apparently, some of the shoes were recycled to  produce energy. According to the report by Burnstone and Woodwoe, the  shoes were being burned by low-wage workers without any precautions for  the workers’ health. An increasing number of children and elderly in the  region began showing up at clinics and hospitals with breathing  problems, dizziness, and toxic blood poisoning. Then, a worker at the  plant collapsed and died in front of the large kiln.
Global news organizations, bloggers, and YouTube  broadcasters quickly picked up the story. The sales of Top Shelf began  to plummet. By the end of the fiscal year, the company saw a 50 percent  reduction in revenue as compared to the previous year. Growth was no  longer the issue. Instead the company was faced with the problem of how  to stay afloat despite the significant losses and depleting capital.  This time, Tie made no public pronouncements. He laid off the manager of  the recycling plant, shut down the kiln at the plant, and, on the  advice of long-time friend Gifford Pinchot III, hired a reputable  sustainable business consulting firm, Sustainable Growth Strategies, to  advise Top Shelf on everything from public relations to substantive  changes in the company’s labor and environmental policies.
Assume you are leading the consulting team for  Sustainable Growth Strategies. You are responsible for the analysis  leading to a report with a set of recommendations to put Top Shelf on  the path to sustainability. Your first task is to prepare a brief paper  for Top Shelf that explains the meaning and use of sustainability within  a business context.
Your team reports directly to Tie Woodward. He is a  sharp, hardworking, and open-minded leader with a sense of humor. Tie  realizes that every day without a genuine sustainability plan is bad for  business. Therefore, he wants to show as soon as possible that the  company is committed to sustainability. He realizes that there may be  advantages in positioning Top Shelf as a sustainability leader in the  long run.

Using the module readings, the Argosy University online  library resources, and the Internet, research sustainable business  practice.

Develop a comprehensive report that includes the following:

  • An introduction to the concept of sustainability.
  • Identification of and elaboration on the three main themes or pillars of sustainability—ecology, society, and economy.
  • An explanation of how sustainability is being defined by businesses giving relevant examples.
  • Identification and analysis of effective sustainability strategies employed by leading businesses.
  • A discussion of how sustainability is being used as a public relations tool.
  • An overview of the positive and negative reactions Tie’s firm might expect from supporters and critics.
  • A compelling case for Tie’s firm to pursue sustainability.

Write a 3–4-page report in Word format. Apply APA  standards to citation of sources. Use the following file naming  convention: LastnameFirstInitial_M1_A3.doc. For example, if your name is  John Smith, your document will be named SmithJ_M1_A3.doc.

By the due date assigned, deliver your assignment to the Submissions Area.

Assignment 3 Grading Criteria   Maximum Points    Described  in detail the concept of sustainability including the three main themes  or pillars of sustainability—ecology, society, and economy.  16    Explained how sustainability is being defined by businesses giving relevant examples.  16    Described effective sustainability strategies employed by leading businesses demonstrating analysis and research.  16    Explained how sustainability is being used as a public relations tool.  16    Developed  a compelling case for Tie’s firm to pursue sustainability explaining  the positive and negative reactions Tie’s firm might expect from  supporters and critics.  20    Wrote  in a clear, concise, and organized manner; demonstrated ethical  scholarship in accurate representation and attribution of sources;  displayed accurate spelling, grammar, and punctuation.  16    Total:  100

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