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Desso (A): Taking on the Sustainability Challenge (Portuguese language)

By Ioannis Ioannou, Amandine Ody-Brasier


This is part of a case series. This case describes the strategic transformation of DESSO, a Dutch manufacturer of carpet tiles and flooring solutions. The first part of the case describes the difficult situation in which the company found itself in the early 2000s, following a series of changes in ownership. It focuses on the strategic vision developed by Stef Kranendijk, the company’s new CEO, as he takes over the company in 2007. An important element of this vision is to make sustainability a key driver of DESSO’s innovation strategy. The case highlights the process that led DESSO to consider a Cradle to Cradle(R) approach as well as the potential issues this new orientation raised for important stakeholders, including employees, board members, customers and suppliers. The second part of the case provides some updates as to DESSO’s situation in 2010. It describes the short-term results of Kranendijk’s strategic vision and how it transformed DESSO’s business model. It also gives details on the implementation of the new strategy and the challenges still ahead.

Learning objectives

  1. Understand the demands and expectations on senior executives to address the social and environmental impacts of their companies’ operations, while generating long-term profits.
  2. Understand how to develop and implement strategies that integrate environmental and social issues into the core of a company’s processes, structures and business model by identifying, prioritising, engaging with and managing a broad and diverse set of stakeholders.
  3. Understand how such strategies not only yield positive social and environmental impact, but can also generate long-term business value and establish unique, hard-to-imitate competitive advantage.
  4. Develop comprehensive insight into what embedding sustainability and broader responsibility towards stakeholders really means and how it can be implemented.


Publication Date: September 2023
LBS Case Code: CS-11-029_PT
Subjects: , , , ,
Pages: 22
Format: pdf