Case | HBS Case Collection | May 2011 (Revised March 2012)

InterfaceRAISE: Sustainability Consulting

by Michael W. Toffel, Robert G. Eccles and Casey Taylor

Abstract

InterfaceRAISE is a sustainability management consulting firm created to leverage the capabilities of its parent company Interface Inc., a carpet manufacturer recognized as a global leader in corporate environmental sustainability. This case illustrates the challenges of turning an internal capability into a client‐facing revenue stream. This is made especially difficult by the fact that the parent company is a manufacturing firm and InterfaceRAISE is a professional service firm (consulting). InterfaceRAISE is not being staffed by a traditional consulting firm model, relying instead on the part‐time availability of employees in the parent company. At the time of the case, InterfaceRAISE was grappling to identify the appropriate business model for the type of consulting firm it wants to be, to determine what its client portfolio should look like, and to set its pricing structure. InterfaceRAISE needed to decide how to accelerate its growth while better achieving its three objectives: improving its clients' sustainability performance, enhancing its parent company's brand image and sales, and increasing operating profits.

Keywords: Problems and Challenges; Integrated Corporate Reporting; Corporate Social Responsibility and Impact; Entrepreneurship; Performance; Environmental Accounting; Profit; Marketing Strategy; Human Resources; Business Model; Leveraged Buyouts; Salesforce Management; Consulting Industry; Manufacturing Industry;

Citation:

Toffel, Michael W., Robert G. Eccles, and Casey Taylor. "InterfaceRAISE: Sustainability Consulting." Harvard Business School Case 611-069, May 2011. (Revised March 2012.)