Sustainability and Storytelling: Unilever and Disney’s Game-Changing Business Cases
In the words of Jacqueline Yeaney, CEO of Xerox Canada “The business case is the blueprint for success, providing a roadmap for achieving project objectives and demonstrating the value of the initiative to stakeholders.” Imagine that you are a traveler embarking on a journey to a new and exciting destination. The destination represents the proposed project or initiative, and your job is to convince your fellow travelers (decision-makers) that this is a trip worth taking. Let us deep dive and try to figure out the important facets of a business case.
Executive Summary: Think of this as your travel brochure – it should provide a brief overview of the journey, highlighting the key attractions and benefits.
Background Information: Just like a tour guide would provide historical and cultural context about a destination, this section should provide relevant information about the industry, market, or business problem that the proposed project aims to address.
Problem Statement: Every journey has its challenges, and it’s important to identify and articulate the specific pain points or obstacles that the proposed project aims to overcome.
Proposed Solution: This is the heart of the travel itinerary – the detailed plan for how the journey will unfold, what activities and experiences will be included, and how the proposed solution will address the identified problems.
Benefits and Costs Analysis: Every traveler wants to know what they will get out of a journey, and at what cost. This section should clearly outline the anticipated benefits and return on investment of the proposed project, as well as any potential risks and associated costs.
Risk Assessment: Just as every journey involves some level of risk, this section should identify and evaluate potential risks and mitigation strategies to minimize their impact.
Recommendation: After evaluating all the information and analysis, it’s time to make a final decision about whether to take the journey. The recommendation section should provide a clear and compelling case for why the proposed project is the right choice.
By presenting a business case in this creative and engaging way, decision-makers are more likely to feel invested in the proposed project and understand the value it can bring to the organization. Let me give an example of a role-play to explain the concept of a business case:
Mr. John – CEO of a company
Ms. Samantha – Manager of a new project
Mr. Mark – CFO of the company
John: Hi Samantha, I hear you have a new project proposal for us. Can you walk me through it?
Samantha: Yes, John. We are proposing a new software solution that will streamline our production process and reduce costs. We estimate that it will cost $500,000 to develop and implement the software, but we expect to see a return on investment of $1 million within the first year of implementation.
John: That sounds promising, but before we proceed, can you provide me with a business case for this project?
Samantha: Sure, I have prepared a business case that outlines the problem, proposed solution, expected benefits, and potential risks and costs associated with the project. It also includes a detailed cost-benefit analysis and a comparison with other potential solutions.
John: Great. Let’s review the business case together. Mark, can you join us as well to provide your financial expertise?
Mark: Sure, I’m happy to help.
(John, Samantha, and Mark review the business case together.)
John: This is a well-prepared business case, Samantha. It clearly outlines the problem, solution, and expected benefits, as well as the potential risks and costs. The cost-benefit analysis shows a strong return on investment, and the comparison with other solutions demonstrates that this is the best option for our company.
Mark: I agree, John. The financial analysis is sound, and the return on investment is impressive. I believe this project has the potential to generate significant cost savings for our company.
John: Based on this business case, I’m convinced that we should move forward with this project. Samantha let’s get started on implementation.
Samantha: Thank you, John, and Mark. I appreciate your input.
To further explain let us go through the business case for Unilever’s goal to become carbon positive by 2030:
Quoting Paul Simpson, CEO of the Carbon Disclosure Project “Unilever’s decision to become carbon positive by 2030 sets a new standard for corporate leadership on climate action. It sends a powerful signal to investors, customers, and other stakeholders that sustainability is a key priority for the company.” Unilever, a global consumer goods company, has set an ambitious goal to become carbon positive by 2030. This means that the company aims to reduce its carbon emissions to net zero and to go beyond that by removing more carbon from the atmosphere than it emits. To achieve this goal, Unilever is investing in renewable energy sources, implementing sustainable practices across its operations, and working with suppliers to reduce its carbon footprint. The business case for Unilever’s goal is multi-faceted. First, there is a growing demand from consumers and investors for companies to act on climate change. By setting this goal, Unilever is demonstrating its commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility, which can help attract customers and investors who prioritize these values.
In addition, reducing carbon emissions can have significant cost savings for companies in the long term. By investing in renewable energy sources and implementing sustainable practices, Unilever can reduce its energy costs and improve operational efficiency, which can lead to financial benefits. Furthermore, by working with suppliers to reduce their carbon footprint, Unilever can also create a ripple effect throughout its supply chain and promote sustainable practices across the industry. This can help improve the company’s reputation and position Unilever as a leader in sustainability. Overall, Unilever’s business case for becoming carbon positive by 2030 is strong. It aligns with growing societal demands for companies to act on climate change, can lead to cost savings and operational efficiency, and can improve the company’s reputation and market position.
By offering a wider range of content on Disney+, the company can attract new subscribers and retain existing ones who may have previously subscribed to other streaming services for adult-oriented content. In addition, by leveraging its existing content library, Disney can minimize its content acquisition costs and maximize its profitability. Furthermore, by expanding its direct-to-consumer offerings, Disney can reduce its reliance on traditional distribution channels such as cable TV and movie theaters, which have been impacted by changing consumer preferences and the COVID-19 pandemic. This can help the company maintain its competitive position in the rapidly evolving media and entertainment industry. Overall, the business case for Disney+ Star is based on the opportunity to expand Disney’s reach and profitability in the European market by offering a wider range of content to a broader audience, while also reducing its reliance on traditional distribution channels.
In conclusion, innovatively presenting a business case help capture the attention of your audience and make your idea more memorable and appealing. By incorporating storytelling, visuals, real-world examples, personalization, humor, or interactive elements, you can engage your audience and demonstrate the effectiveness of your solution. Whether you’re pitching to investors, presenting to stakeholders, or sharing best practices with your team, using an innovative approach can help you stand out and increase your chances of success.
- Unilever. (2021). Our climate and nature ambition. Retrieved from https://www.unilever.com/sustainable-living/the-unilever-sustainable-living-plan/reducing-environmental-impact/climate-and-energy/
- Madslien, J. (2021, February 18). Unilever aims to become carbon positive by 2030. BBC News. Retrieved from https://www.bbc.com/news/business-56176864
- Hsu, A. (2020, August 27). 4 reasons businesses should care about carbon neutrality. Forbes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/andrewhsu/2020/08/27/4-reasons-businesses-should-care-about-carbon-neutrality/?sh=56c1e2b11a7b
- World Economic Forum. (2021). The business case for carbon neutrality. Retrieved from https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/02/business-case-carbon-neutrality/
- Hipes, P. (2022, March 1). Disney+ Sets Launch Date for Disney+ Star in Europe, Unveils Slate of Originals. Deadline. https://deadline.com/2022/03/disney-plus-star-europe-launch-date-originals-1234981257/
- Pallotta, F. (2022, March 1). Disney+ to launch Star service in Europe with more adult programming. CNN Business. https://www.cnn.com/2022/03/01/media/disney-plus-star-europe/index.html
- Spangler, T. (2022, March 1). Disney+ Sets European Launch Date for Disney+ Star, Including FX, and 20th Century Studios Content. Variety. https://variety.com/2022/digital/news/disney-plus-star-europe-launch-date-fx-20th-century-1235191691/