When to Embrace Sustainability in a Business (and When Not To)
568 pp., 6 x 9 in, 23 figures
- Published: March 9, 2018
- Publisher: The MIT Press
- Published: March 23, 2018
- Publisher: The MIT Press
An expert on business strategy offers a pragmatic take on how businesses of all sizes balance the competing demands of profitability and employment with sustainability.
The demands and stresses on companies only grow as executives face a multitude of competing business goals. Their stakeholders are interested in corporate profits, jobs, business growth, and environmental sustainability. In this book, business strategy expert Yossi Sheffi offers a pragmatic take on how businesses of all sizes—from Coca Cola and Siemens to Dr. Bronner's Magical Soaps and Patagonia—navigate these competing goals. Drawing on extensive interviews with more than 250 executives, Sheffi examines the challenges, solutions, and implications of balancing traditional business goals with sustainability.
Sheffi, author of the widely read The Resilient Enterprise, argues that business executives' personal opinions on environmental sustainability are irrelevant. The business merits of environmental sustainability are based on the fact that even the most ardent climate change skeptics in the C-suite face natural resource costs, public relations problems, regulatory burdens, and a green consumer segment. Sheffi presents three basic business rationales for corporate sustainability efforts: cutting costs, reducing risk, and achieving growth.
For companies, sustainability is not a simple case of “profits versus planet” but is instead a more subtle issue of (some) people versus (other) people—those looking for jobs and inexpensive goods versus others who seek a pristine environment. This book aims to help companies satisfy these conflicting motivations for both economic growth and environmental sustainability.
This book offers valuable and expert guidance on how companies can develop business models that successfully meet the needs of different stakeholders.
Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever
Some in business believe that companies have a responsibility to contribute to society and the environment, while others believe that every investment a company makes must return value. At UPS, we believe that both beliefs are compatible. I applaud Yossi Sheffi for his thoughtful treatment of a subject that is critically important not just to business, but to everyone on this planet.
David Abney, Chairman and CEO, UPS
A must-read.... A well-researched book that cuts through many of the fallacies and wishful thinking that surrounds sustainability.
Sustainability is a hot button issue, and Sheffi's book is likely to spur debate.
Supply Chain Management Review
A book that aims to help companies decide what types of sustainability efforts make sense for them from a business standpoint and what efforts do not.