Assignment 1: Required Assignment 2—Tracking Progress on Sustainability Goals
Good intentions must be followed by actions leading to measurable outcomes. Sustainability initiatives and their outcomes are tracked through accountability systems and transparent reporting.
Click here to download and review the Top Shelf scenario so far
Use your module readings, the Argosy University online library resources, and the Internet to research accountability systems and transparent reporting.
Use your research to first analyze how the factors apply to Walmart’s sustainability index and then to create a transparent sustainability report for Top Shelf. Write a report that includes the following:
Write a report that includes the following:
- How was Walmart’s sustainability index developed?
- What makes it particularly innovative?
- Which social, ecological, and economic sustainability considerations are covered? Which ones are left out?
- Can Walmart’s approach be used by Top Shelf to track their efforts? Justify your answer.
- Briefly describe two other approaches (different from that of Walmart) that could be used by Top Shelf to track their efforts.
- Recommend one approach for Top Shelf and explain in detail how the company can measure, track, and report progress on their sustainability goals. Justify your choice.
- Explain why your recommendation would be superior to the status quo.
Write a 10–12-page report in Word format. Apply APA standards to citation of sources. Use the following file naming convention: LastnameFirstInitial_M5_A1.doc.
Course Project Scenario: Top Shelf Shoes
Throughout this course, you will analyze various factors at a fictitious company called Top Shelf Shoes. In
each module, you will work on an assignment related to this analysis.
Review the course project scenario:
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
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.