March 13, 2007

Case's "Sustainable Design Factory" helps propel Green Mountain Coffee Roasters as a top corporate citizen


Ranked for the second consecutive year as No. 1 on the list of "100 Best Corporate Citizens" by CRO (Corporate Responsible Officer) magazine, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (NASDAQ: GMCR) credits part of its success to using "The Sustainable Design Factory" at Case Western Reserve University and working with the university's Weatherhead School of Management faculty.

"We are thrilled by this unprecedented honor," said Robert Stiller, president and CEO of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. "Our partnership with Case Western Reserve University's Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit has been a powerful and positive, key catalyst to our company," said Stiller, "especially the Appreciative Inquiry (AI), a multi-stakeholder innovation tool used in their Sustainable Design Factory."

This is the fifth straight year that Green Mountain Coffee Roasters has appeared on the CRO's prestigious list. The company is the only one to attain the top spot for two years running. The only other company to receive the top honors twice is IBM.

Over the past five years, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters has seen rapid growth in its business. It was recently named by Forbes as one of the top 200 fastest-growing companies in America, which propelled their stock prices from $18 to $61 per share during this time.

Green Mountain's award-winning social responsibility report singles out the AI method and Case faculty as one of the catalysts of their success. "The Sustainable Design Factory" is grounded in the conviction that every global and social issue of our day is a business opportunity.

The Sustainable Design Factory helps companies ignite innovation in green products, sustainable energy and social entrepreneurship to help make companies leading-edge, top rated stars of their industries. Using an intense, quick-turnaround, brainstorm-and-prototype process called AI, the design factory specializes in bringing 300-500 people together for design summits that tap into the collective imagination and strength of every level of the company, including customers, suppliers and key stakeholders in the company's community.

"Our goal is to be a global resource to companies seeking to make sustainability the business opportunity of the 21st century" says David Cooperrider, professor and chair of the department of organizational behavior at the Weatherhead school. He is a leader in this movement of sustainability through Case's Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit (BAWB). Like the award-winning design and development firm IDEO that brought the world the Apple mouse, the Palm Pilot and hundreds of other cutting-edge products and services, Cooperrider said that he believes there will be growing demand for something akin to IDEO in the sustainable business domain.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters has steadily climbed in the "100 Best Corporate Citizens" rankings from No. 8 in 2003, to No. 5 in 2004, No. 2 in 2005, to No. 1 last year. The coffee roaster shares honors on this year's list with Advanced Micro Devices (#2), IBM (#6), The Timberland Company (#8) and Starbucks Corporation (#9).

Now in its eighth year, the "100 Best Corporate Citizens" list was developed by Business Ethics magazine, which was incorporated last year into The CRO, a membership organization for Corporate Responsibility Officers.

The department of organizational behavior at Weatherhead was recently ranked second in the world by Financial Times in its ranking of management school programs.

The Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit at Case Western Reserve University's Weatherhead School of Management is recognized as a leader in the field of sustainable design and social entrepreneurship. The Center advances sustainability as a business opportunity through research, education and collaborative design with companies on the leading edge of learning in green management, advanced energies, and the eradication of poverty through profitability. Based on the conviction that every global and social issue of our day is a business opportunity, the Center's new Sustainable Design Factory connects state-of-the-art theory with innovations in quick-turnaround collaborative design.

For more information contact Susan Griffith, 216.368.1004.

Posted by: Heidi Cool, March 13, 2007 11:54 AM | News Topics: Environment, Faculty, HeadlinesMain, Provost Initiatives

Case Western Reserve University is committed to the free exchange of ideas, reasoned debate and intellectual dialogue. Speakers and scholars with a diversity of opinions and perspectives are invited to the campus to provide the community with important points of view, some of which may be deemed controversial. The views and opinions of those invited to speak on the campus do not necessarily reflect the views of the university administration or any other segment of the university community.