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Desso (A): Taking on the Sustainability Challenge


Economics, Economics, Strategy and Entrepreneurship

Authors / Editors

Ioannou I;Ody-Brasier, A


Publication Year



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.

Topic List

Corporate responsibility, Innovation, Sustainable development



LBS Case Number




Available on ECCH


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