Trucost: Valuing Corporate Environmental Impacts

Posted: 4 Feb 2012

See all articles by Michael W. Toffel

Michael W. Toffel

Harvard Business School

Stephanie van Sice

Harvard Business School

Date Written: December 12, 2011


Trucost provided corporate environmental performance data and analysis to institutional investors and corporate managers, but after operating for a decade had yet to achieve profitability. Trucost was struggling to effectively differentiate its high quality products from its lower-cost competitors, and needed to develop a strategy to educate the marketplace and pursue new distribution channels. Increased investor interest in environmental issues-and an ever growing number of corporate environmental ranking-led to a proliferation of competitors to Trucost, and an industry shakeout were predicted. How should Trucost compete?

Learning Objective: To introduce students to corporate environmental and sustainability ratings and competitive strategies among rating agencies, and the difficulties of competing on high quality information products that are credence goods-in that customers never truly know the quality after they purchase the information.

Suggested Citation

Toffel, Michael W. and van Sice, Stephanie, Trucost: Valuing Corporate Environmental Impacts (December 12, 2011). Harvard Business School Technology & Operations Mgt. Unit Case No. 612-025, Available at SSRN:

Michael W. Toffel (Contact Author)

Harvard Business School ( email )

Boston, MA 02163
United States
617.384.8043 (Phone)

Stephanie Van Sice

Harvard Business School ( email )

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

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