CASE STUDIES


Green Earth LLC has been focused on leveraging technology to enhance sustainability. We share below some of the notable success we have had helping clients recently. In some cases the names and identities of clients have been withheld to ensure confidentiality and maintain privacy.

CASE #1.   Ace reDeucers:   Reuse and Recycling of Tennis Balls, Acton, MA

The Problem: Each year approximately 300 million balls are produced all over the world, which contributes to roughly 32.3 million pounds of waste in the form of rubber that is not biodegradable. These tennis balls sit in the landfill for a long time and produce methane (CH4) a greenhouse gas that remains in the atmosphere for approximately 9-15 years. Methane is over 20 times more effective in trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide (CO2) resulting in being a major factor in global warming. Green Earth LLC was engaged as Strategic Advisors by Ace reDeucers, a 4 member team, consisting of Albert Zhang, Andrew Li, David Chen & Tejas Subramanian- all eighth grade students from R. J. Grey Junior High School, Acton, MA. The team was participating in the Siemens "We can change the world" challenge the nation's premiere sustainability competition designed to give students an opportunity, tools and inspiration to create sustainable, reproducible environment improvements in their communities. We found that awareness to tennis ball recycling and the importance of recycling these non-biodegradable balls was almost non-existent. Even responsible citizens who are diligent about recycling paper and plastic are just not aware that tennis balls can be recycled and /or reused in many different ways. Ace reDeucers found that tennis clubs in and around the town of Acton, in Western MA replace approximately 15,000 to 20,000 tennis balls each year, which will result in over a ton of landfill waste annually.

The Solution: We helped Ace reDeucers connect with local tennis clubs and with several other specialty recycling organizations to develop an easy, practical and low cost strategy for reusing and recycling of tennis balls. One simple solution was for clubs to re-pressurize their used balls and reuse them before deeming the ball unfit for play. Even after the balls are no longer usable, our solution required clubs to donate the tennis balls to schools, animal shelters and charitable organizations in need of these tennis balls. Ace reDeucers is working with the township recycling stations to allow for recycling tennis balls from local citizens. Tennis balls collected at the transfer stations will be donated to local schools to use under the legs of chairs and desks so as to reduce friction and noise pollution in classrooms.

Value Creation: The tennis balls reuse and recycling strategy executed by Ace reDeucers increased awareness and means to recycling and reusing tennis balls has resulted in reducing landfill waste in the town of Acton, MA. This in turn helped the local community to go green in ways that they never knew was possible. Animal shelters like Save a Dog, Buddy Dog, etc. that are in need of tennis balls now will have a constant flow of used tennis balls for their needs. Local tennis clubs will have an increased return on investment by reusing re-pressurized tennis balls much beyond their current life span. In summary the collaborative solution developed by Green Earth and Ace reDeucers will not only reduce the number of new balls that clubs will need to purchase each year but will also help the environment and local organizations that need the used tennis balls. This successful project is a good example of a low cost and low tech yet high-impact solution that enhances the quality of life, gets young minds thinking entrepreneurially and benefits the community in general.

CASE #2.   Quick Tennis:    Leveraging Mobile Apps to Meet Needs of Community

The Problem: The founders of Green Earth are passionate about playing tennis. However we found it a constant challenge to schedule games, inform all the players and clubs of schedules and locations, and ensure that changes in schedule due to weather and cancellation can be managed in a quick and easy manner. Desktop applications were not up to the challenge, so we went mobile.

The Solution: In consultation with the several tennis players and local tennis clubs we designed and developed a mobile app for iPhone’s called QuickTennis.Net The app enables tennis lovers to schedule their games, maintain a database of players, and keep track of scores and photos with ease.

Value Creation:
The key features of QuickTennis.Net include the following:
Quick and Easy Scheduling of Games: Just few clicks you can pick your game Day & Time, Players & Location! Use the easy Car Pool feature to bring a ‘Green’ Touch to your game. The app will do the rest by sending an email and an optional SMS message inviting them to play.

Maintain and Rank Players you Play with: No more having to manually keep track of the contact information of your co-players. With Quick Tennis, you can select them from your iPhone contact list for the first time and enter only the missing information. You can give your players a short name and Rank them on a scale of 1 to 7 to help match players with similar skill levels.

List the Locations you Play: Is coordinating a location becoming too cumbersome? Quick Tennis allows you to enter the address and contact information of multiple locations you play into the App and then select from among them. If the location has a contact email ID, the App sends out an email to the contact person informing them of the schedule.

Keep Scores and Photos: Do you want to keep track of the scores of the games you played this season (and show off a little when you win)? Well then there is no need to memorize your game scores- just update your scores in the Quick Tennis App. You can even attach photos of the game.

Car Pooling Made Easy: Would you like to save on gas and reduce your carbon footprint a little? Use the Car Pool feature of Quick Tennis that allows you to inform the other players of pick up location and driver details.

In summary, Quick Tennis is a Mobile App created by tennis players for tennis players that allows you to spend less time in scheduling games and more time on the court- improving your serve or your back hand.

CASE # 3.   Sustainability Strategy Consulting

The Problem: The management of a well established business organization that provided services to the local community wanted to initiate a new sustainability initiative. The challenge they faced was how to move from design to strategy to implementation that will ensure the practical application in a local context that will enhance the image of the business as a socially responsible organization.

The Green Earth Solution: After sitting down with the various stakeholder groups of the business and understanding their objectives, resources and constraints, we designed a detailed sustainability blueprint for the business. The plan that included a technology audit, review of supply chain, and a realignment of the organizational structure, was discussed and approved by the various stakeholder groups, which included internal groups such as employees, management and shareholders as well as external groups such as the local schools and a few community organizations. A five member Sustainability Committee which included three independent outsiders was established to oversee the implementation of the plan.

Value Created: The implementation of the new sustainability plan will commence in fall of 2011. The plan has already had a positive impact by creating a sense of excitement and ownership among the various stakeholder groups. We anticipate a positive outcome that will create value for the business and the community.

CASE # 4.   Entrepreneurship/Management Strategy Consulting

The Problem: A fast growing entrepreneurial venture in the green technology space based in NJ ran short of cash as a result of the economic recession of 2007-2009. The growth of the company stalled as they lost two major contracts and they were facing a situation where they had to let go of key personnel. Even worse, the company was considering declaring bankruptcy.

The Green Earth Solution: After a detailed fact finding session that included all the four co-founders of the company, we determined that the opportunity and business model remained strong. The company however, was top heavy and lacked a leader who could inspire. The company was grossly undercapitalized creating cash flow and employee retention challenges. As per our advise the company redesigned their organizational structure so that one of the founders who was critical to the development of the technology stayed back to run the firm. The other three co-founders were asked to bootstrap by working on consulting assignments with current and future clients, while serving on the board. We helped them find sources of funding and renegotiate contracts with key employees and clients.

Value Creation: By redesigning the organizational structure we helped solve the top heavy problem. By creating a Board of Directors that consisted of all the four co-founders and an independent industry expert who has experience with new ventures, we were able to retain the original team. By helping the firm find funding from a small bank based on the personal guarantees of the co-founders and the state economic development authority, we helped improve the cash flow situation. All these measures helped with retention of 3 key employees who were critical to the development of proprietary technology of the firm. The firm has since won seven new client contracts and is expected to return to profitability in 2011.

CASE # 5:   Technology Solutions: Digital Publishing

The Problem: A not for profit community service organization that organizes multiple events for its members every year was finding it difficult and too expensive to meet the cost of publishing its marketing and publicity materials. They were considering dropping some of the events they do to ease the burden on management.

The Green Earth Solution: Thru our digital publishing services we offered the organization a solution that will minimize the need for printed materials and put all the required information online. Our professionals helped the organization meet their marketing and event publicity by developing a clear understanding of their needs and objectives and addressing them in ways that were quick, cost effective and relevant to their user community.

Value Creation: We helped this non profit organization stand out from the crowd by getting out their message to their target population with speed and accuracy; in the most cost effective and user friendly manner. While cost saving, speed and efficiency clearly were distinct advantages, an unexpected bonus for this organization was the positive response from their member community who appreciated the efforts to reduce the use of traditional printed brochures – which are costly, time consuming, creates waste and pollutes, the environment.