C@C Case Study

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1. Provide a very brief overview of the facts of the case as well as any significant stakeholders and their interests. The case study describes the C2C protocol, how Herman Miller implemented C2C during the design of the Mirra chair, as well as the impact of the new protocol on their internal processes for design decisions, manufacturing, and supply chain management. The proximate decision point in the case is whether the company should replace the polyvinyl chloride (PVC) material in the arm pads of the Mirra chair. PVC was a highly toxic material to manufacture and dispose of and thus violated the C2C protocol. However, the standard material for arm pads and many other parts in the office furniture industry as it was durable, scratch resistant, and inexpensive. Thus, switching to thermoplastic urethane (TPU), a more environmentally friendly material, for the Mirra Chair arm pad required at least modification of a production tool, or possibly a completely new tool. In addition, the cost of TPU was higher than PVC. There was also uncertainty about how consistent the quality of the arm pad would be with TPU. The cradle-to-cradle design has many significant stakeholders and their interests are consumers, NGO partners, employees, and manufactures. Their interests are to cut cost and to recycled and produce renewable content. 2. Should Herman Miller use PVC or TPU in its new chair? Justify your answer. Deciding between PVC and TPU, which PVC violated their “Environment for Design” strategy, and TPU, a more expensive and untested sustainable alternative for the chairs arm pads, was a challenge that would impact both deliverables. Both the development and the supply chain team advocated using the PVC material because manufacturing the mirra chair is toxic and is being released. Based on Herman Miller’s historic commitment to innovative environmental processes

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