Team Project Written Report

Introduction
As a team, you will work on a Model Sustainable Business Case Study. This involves evaluating a company from the list below in terms of their sustainability strategy and offer recommendations on how they can become even more sustainable.  You may also make a proposal to research a different company, as long as there is sufficient information to accomplish the project.
This assignment is intended (1) to help you grasp, with a real-life example, how businesses are performing in relation to various stakeholders, beyond the important financial bottom line, and (2) to provide an opportunity for you to sharpen and enhance your critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
This assignment will be graded for a written report (30%) and presentation (10%). Your report should be about 4,000 words in length (or about 16 pages double-spaced), NOT counting the tables/figures and references pages. To establish your report’s credibility, you are required to support your claims and findings with at least five scholarly references, and two sources external to the company in addition to the company’s website.
 
Assignment Instructions
Step 1: Selection of a company
Please choose one of the companies listed below or make a case for another company and communicate that to the instructor by the end of class 8. This step is to endure that each team research a different company. 
LIST OF SUGGESTED COMPANIES:

3M
Accenture
Citi
Estee Lauder
Etsy
General Mills
GM
Intel
Microsoft
Nike
Patagonia
Target

Step 2: Written Report
The written report must include the following:
A. Basic Information on the firm:

Fortune rank, type of industry and its Global Standard Industrial Classification (GSIC), CEO, number of employees, headquarters location, and number of offices globally.  Discuss the extent of their operations.
Reported sales and company performance over the last fiscal year, including data from Standard & Poor’s and one other source.
Organization and structure of the governance system (Board and committees)
Identify key stakeholders in terms of risk management.  
Any other information you deem important to understand the firm

B.  Evaluation of the firm as a sustainable company (updated on October 18, 2021)

Describe the ESG factors and goals (“program”) that the company is using and why they are material to your company’s success? In other words, describe how the company set these goals and their rationale or explanation for selecting these ESG factors in their “materiality analysis”.
Describe how the company is engaging with and interacting/collaborating with its stakeholders. Identify and describe any specific stakeholder’s input to the company regarding their ESG program and practice.
Describe any tensions that have arisen between or among different stakeholders and how are they addressing them?
Describe how each ESG factor is expected to benefit their primary stakeholders (customers, employees, suppliers and community). Give one example for each primary stakeholder.
What operational changes are they making to execute on these ESG goals? (per the HBS article, companies engage in three different stages: risk management and compliance, improving efficiency, and innovation for growth)
Compare and contrast its sustainability efforts using at least two rating sources, including one non-profit or NGO source and how they compare with other companies in their same sector. Explain why you selected the two indices for your due diligence on the company’s CSR practices. Describe each index, citing the credibility and limitations of each. (Note: These two rating sources are not considered part of the five scholarly sources that are required for this assignment.) 
Describe their performance trends that have resulted from their ESG program. More specifically, identify how each ESG factor is measured and monitored and what data sources they have used.  In addition, what progress has been achieved for each ESG factor.  Identify any legal requirements or best practices that the company has adopted to implement any of their ESG goals.
Describe any obstacles, barriers or challenges the company is experiencing in pursuit of their ESG goals and steps they have taken to resolve those problems.
Describe your overall conclusions about the potential of their ESG program to create significant environmental, governance or social benefits.

C. Recommendations for improvement and how to strengthen their CSR/ESG performance and increase their appeal to stakeholders

Develop recommendation for management as to what actions it should take and why.

Resources
HBR article “Social Impact Efforts That Create Real Value”
Rubric
Below are the criteria which your team assignment will be graded on. Groups will receive one grade for the written report and presentation.
Written Report 
Application of concepts and tools
Clearly show knowledge of the concepts that relate to the chosen topic (e.g., CSR/ESG)
Clearly demonstrate the proficiency in applying the relevant problem-solving tools (e.g., SWOT analysis, stakeholder analysis)
Rigor of independent research
Search out, gather and integrate relevant information from a variety of sources, giving deeper insight into the topic.    
The findings and recommendations are supported in a credible way with multiple scholarly references and other online resources (minimum requirement: 5 scholarly references and 2 sources external to the company)
Quality of analysis
Reports include all the required elements
Conclusion about the firm’s CSR performance and strategies are valid given the presented information
Recommendations are logically and clearly based on the evaluation of the firm
Clarity of Writing
Write concisely and clearly, using bullet-point-form in part if you wish
Structure helps communicate ideas
Attention to spelling and grammar
Appropriate referencing

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