Ten Million Dollar Cup

Ten Million Dollar Cup

April 9, 2018

Starbucks has been working on sustainability from “bean to cup.”  Now they are focusing on the cup.

Unsatisfied with their results on an environmentally friendly cup design, Starbucks has turned outside of their firm with a $10 million dollar challenge.  Partnering with Closed Loop Partners, the goal is to develop the next generation coffee cup that skips the landfill and either decomposes or is recycled.

The problem is that over 600 billion coffee cups are consumed each year.  Starbucks alone uses over 6 billion.  Because of the plastic lining used in the current design, the cups are difficult to recycle and take approximately 20 years to decompose.

This doesn’t fit with the company’s corporate sustainability goals.  In 2010, Starbucks set a goal to have 100% of its cups being reusable or recyclable by 2015.  They didn’t achieve this goal.  Only a handful of cities can recycle their cups, and only 10% of the cups’ material is from post-consumer recycled fiber.

Thus, the $10 million challenge has been announced to move their sustainable cup goals forward.

This post is based on the MSN/CNN article, Starbucks offers $10 million for ideas on a better cup Continue reading

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3D-Printing Cars in China

3D-Printing Cars in China

April 8, 2018

LSEV will be the world’s first car made almost entirely with 3D-printing, and it’s due to go on sale in late 2019.

Priced around $10,000, the LSEV has a top speed of 43 mph, and can travel 93 miles before needing to be recharged.   The vehicle is being made in a joint venture between a Chinese Polymaker company and an Italian-based manufacturer, X Electrical Vehicle (XEV).

Both a postal service company and a car sharing service have already pre-ordered 7,000 of the LSEV. Some experts predict that electric vehicles may make up 35 percent of global new car sales by 2040.

This post is based on the Star article, World’s first 3D-printed car due on roads in 2019, by the TechNews team, March 26, 2018, and the Ecowatch article, Bringing the LSEV to Life – The 1st Mass Produced 3D Printed Car, by Lorraine Chow, March 19, 2018. Image sources: Izabela Habur/E+/Getty Images.

Discussion Questions

1. How does the product design of the LSEV support the manufacturer’s low cost strategy?

Guidance:  It’s one thing to say, “Let’s have a cost leadership, or low-cost, operations strategy.”  It is another to design a Continue reading

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