The Benziger Family Winery Case

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QUESTION: Should Benziger pursue ISO 14000 certification?

Yes, Benziger should pursue ISO 14000 certification. The certification is not only consistent with Benziger’s environmental stewardship, but also strengthens Benziger’s market position. Furthermore, ISO 14000 helps Benziger substantiates EMS to let external stakeholders know more aboutout what Benziger does environmentally and systematize the existing environmental activities.

First of all, to pursue ISO 14000 certification is to carry out Benziger Family’s environmental stewardship. Benziger Family’s environmental stewardship is a goal to produce world- class wines that have a sense of place. It is an opportunity for Benziger to be the first U.S. winery having ISO 14000 certification, which enhances Benziger’s reputation not only as an environmental leader but also as a world- class company like Allied Domecq in the wine industry.

Secondly, to pursue ISO 14000 certification is a differentiation strategy for Benziger in the wine industry, especially in the U.S. market whichwhere is very intensively competitive. Benziger could make itselfis different from other competitors because few US wineries have ISO 14000 certification. In addition, Benziger could enter the market segments where consumers are sensitive to environmental product attributes and could expand its business to the EU and Japan which are highly environmentally sensitive countries.

Although doing ISO 14000 certification will cost Benziger lots of money in the short term, it will benefit Benziger and offset the investment cost in the future. For example, the benefits of having ISO 14000 certification for Benziger might include cost savings due to waste reduction and avoidance of environmental liabilities and revenue increase due to attracting more consumers who are sensitive to environmental product attributes.

Lastly, ISO 14000 is an attempt to develop a widely accepted, uniform approach to certify that Benziger’s EMS is a...
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