Case | HBS Case Collection | January 1989 (Revised March 1995)

Du Pont Freon Products Division (A)

by Richard H.K. Vietor and Forest L. Reinhardt

Abstract

In 1988, the Du Pont Co. is abruptly confronted with solid scientific evidence that chlorofluorocarbons are destroying the earth's ozone shield. Du Pont, with its Freon brand product line serving markets for foam insulation, electronics solvents, and especially refrigeration, was the world's leading producer of these chemicals. Although no substitutes were currently commercially available, or even proven, Du Pont had to decide what to do. The purpose of the case is to examine how changing science and environmental problems affect competitive conditions and corporate strategy. In particular, the case examines the criteria by which companies formulate policy.

Keywords: Business Divisions; Policy; Management; Brands and Branding; Production; Service Operations; Natural Environment; Competition; Corporate Strategy; Environmental Sustainability;

Citation:

Vietor, Richard H.K., and Forest L. Reinhardt. "Du Pont Freon Products Division (A)." Harvard Business School Case 389-111, January 1989. (Revised March 1995.)