Strategy for Sustainability


Start your review of Strategy for Sustainability: A Business Manifesto

Bojan Tunguz

The "sustainability" seems to be the biggest buzzword these days, and an increasing number of institutions are judged according to whether they espouse sustainability in their practices or not. Many college campuses are abuzz with student and faculty led groups that are trying to implement sustainability as one of the core missions of their educational institutions. The word is primarily associated with the environmentalism, and implies judicious use of energy and resources. It has supplemented The "sustainability" seems to be the biggest buzzword these days, and an increasing number of institutions are judged according to whether they espouse sustainability in their practices or not. Many college campuses are abuzz with student and faculty led groups that are trying to implement sustainability as one of the core missions of their educational institutions. The word is primarily associated with the environmentalism, and implies judicious use of energy and resources. It has supplemented the old mantra of conservation, but the impetus behind its use is more or less the same. Most of these efforts are viewed with skepticism by administrators, since they impinge on budgetary matters and by and large complicate the everyday operations of the institution. The business community in particular is very uneasy with this latest fad of sustainability, since it threatens the most (some would argue the only) important consideration that businesses have: profitability. In his book "Strategy for Sustainability: Business Manifesto" the author Adam Werbach tries to appeal to the business community by arguing that a clear strategy of sustainability is beneficial for company's bottom line as well. The greatest strength of the book is its lack of knee-jerk ant corporatist attitude, and a clearly stated appreciation of the goods that business can offer to the society at large. However, the book still comes across as overly preachy and sanctimonious. There are many good ideas tossed in there, but there is no clear strategy on how to implement them. There are also no cost-benefit analyses' presented, which in the light of the previous sentence is not all that surprising: it is hard to make a quantitative analysis when there is no concrete plan of action that is to be implemented. The book is full of cute anecdotes that try to illustrate the main points, but ultimately have the effect of making one unable to take the overall massage too seriously. The main effect that it may have on the business community is to provide them with a new set of phrases and talking points. ...more

Sharon

Former Sierra Club President Adam Werbacn has written an outstanding book that business people at all levels would do well to read. Werbach explains why being a "green" company is not adequate; he refers to being "blue" (since most of the planet is covered in blue) as being truly sustainable.

Using examples of companies that have chosen to create goals based on natural resources, society and technology, Werbach details his platform of true sustainability: making information transparent, engaging

Former Sierra Club President Adam Werbacn has written an outstanding book that business people at all levels would do well to read. Werbach explains why being a "green" company is not adequate; he refers to being "blue" (since most of the planet is covered in blue) as being truly sustainable.Using examples of companies that have chosen to create goals based on natural resources, society and technology, Werbach details his platform of true sustainability: making information transparent, engaging people outside your company, and leveraging networks of customers, suppliers and communities.Werbach is at his most engaging when he is sharing success stories from companies that viewed corporate social responsibility as more than just slapping a "recyclable" label on a product. There are some parts of the book that are a tad dry, which is why I dropped a star from the rating. A good leadership book should hold the reader's attention all the way through, and a couple of times Werbach lost me. Ultimately, the book is worth sticking with, as employees at any level will benefit from the information.

(Review based on uncorrected advance copy.)

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Eric

I normally lose interest in any business-oriented book about 5 pages in (if I read one at all, really). While this one flagged a bit in the middle, the ideas were compelling and inspiring throughout. Obviously sustainability is on everybody's mind these days. But Werbach has really walked the walk throughout his career as activist and business consultant, and so I take his assertions much more seriously than some of the Johnny-come-latelys also touting this green gospel. The book also wouldn't I normally lose interest in any business-oriented book about 5 pages in (if I read one at all, really). While this one flagged a bit in the middle, the ideas were compelling and inspiring throughout. Obviously sustainability is on everybody's mind these days. But Werbach has really walked the walk throughout his career as activist and business consultant, and so I take his assertions much more seriously than some of the Johnny-come-latelys also touting this green gospel. The book also wouldn't be as successful if Werbach wasn't armed with a plethora of case studies and practical solutions to the larger problems he lays out. Probably required reading for anyone running (or consulting with) a business today. ...more

Julie Gengo

Wonderful scope of how businesses can transform into truly sustainable companies regardless of size or nature of the business. Adam Werbach uses real life cases and discusses objectives and accomplishments while clearly highlighting key elements that are guiding principles for creating concepts that were once thought of as taboo for profitability. Great read and guide for all businesses looking to enter into the Blue era of doing business.

Elaine

Intelligent writing with many passages that I wanted to transcribe onto big post-its and stick to my office wall as constant reminders of how good organizations should be run. Will be keeping close as a constant reference.

Peter Holst

At times interesting, at times revealing, but more of than not, retread. Clearly an intelligent and successful guy who might need to take a few more risks to potentially write a book that is more insightful. Give some perspectives that are not caught up in the current day-of-writing flavors.

Colleen McCarthy

Good content - don't agree with everything but I definitely like his focus on how sustainability strategy should actually be thought of as "regular" strategy

Trey

thanks Nick Tangborn for the suggestion

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