Sustainability at Millipore

Posted: 5 Aug 2009 Last revised: 6 Aug 2009

See all articles by Michael W. Toffel

Michael W. Toffel

Harvard Business School

Katharine L. Lee

Harvard University - Business School (HBS)

Date Written: July 23, 2009


This case describes Millipore Corporation's approach to becoming a more environmentally sustainable company. As he prepared for his quarterly meeting with the CEO, the Director of Sustainability needed to develop positions on several issues. Tactically, he needed to recommend whether the company should purchase carbon offsets to help meet its aggressive greenhouse gas reduction targets, and whether to continue publicly reporting its greenhouse gas emissions and strategies despite recent problems. On a more strategic level, he needed to recommend how to take the company's Sustainability Initiative to the next level, and consider whether changes were needed to its organizational structure. Finally, he needed to develop a more systematic approach to prioritizing investments in various projects being proposed to improve environmental performance. The case provides a background of the sustainability movement, and reviews major sustainability frameworks (including The Natural Step, Carbon Footprints, and the Sustainability Hierarchy) and prevailing sustainability performance metrics.

Suggested Citation

Toffel, Michael W. and Lee, Katharine L., Sustainability at Millipore (July 23, 2009). HBS Case No. 610-012, Harvard Business School Technology & Operations Management Unit, Available at SSRN:

Michael W. Toffel (Contact Author)

Harvard Business School ( email )

Boston, MA 02163
United States
617.384.8043 (Phone)

Katharine L. Lee

Harvard University - Business School (HBS) ( email )

Soldiers Field Road
Morgan 270C
Boston, MA 02163
United States

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