In 2001, we had a problem with our baby wipes. Or rather with the manufacturing partner who produced our formula for us. What happened next is a case study in the challenges that socially responsible businesses so often face. Literally. By that I mean that University of Oregon Lundquist College of Business Professor Mike Russo and former grad student Dan Goldstein have actually turned the story into one that just won the 2007 oikos Sustainability Case Writing Competition sponsored by the oikos Foundation at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland.
The case study, Seventh Generation: Balancing Customer Expectations with Supply Chain Realities, topped 22 other submitted case studies to take top honors. You can read it here.
While we were all being interviewed for the project and reliving the days back when, we took the opportunity to turn on our video cameras and make our own little mini-movie about the experience for the archives:
It’s an interesting parable about how difficult it can be for a small socially responsible company when the right thing and the profit thing don’t want to get along, which actually describes a fairly typical day around here. What do you do? Here’s what we did when the wipe out loomed, and while I don’t think there’s anybody here who would ever want to go through it again, I’m also sure there’s no one who isn’t thankful for the lessons learned.