September 26, 2006
Doing Well by Doing Good, Part IV
This series of posts has mostly been about things that people or companies do that help make the world a better place — sometimes when it’s their core mission, other times (here and here) when it becomes an important supporting role at the company.
Today’s post is different — it’s actually a Book Short as well of a new book that’s coming out later this fall called Green to Gold: How Smart Companies Use Environmental Strategy to Innovate, Create Value, and Build Competitive Advantage, published by Yale Press and written by Daniel Esty (a Yale professor and consultant), and a good friend of mine, Andrew Winston, a corporate sustainability consultant.
Green to Gold is a must-read for anyone who (a) holds a leadership position in business or is a business influencer, and (b) cares about the environment we live in. Its subtitle really best describes the book, which is probably the first (or if not, certainly the best) documentation of successful corporate environmentalstrategy on the market.
It’s a little reminiscent to me of Collins Built to Last and Good to Great in that it is meticulously researched with a mix of company interviews/cooperation and empirical and investigative work. It doesn’t have Collins “pairing” framework, but it doesn’t need to in order to make its point.
If you liked Al Gore’s movie, An Inconvenient Truth, this book will satisfy your thirst for information about what the heck the corporate world is doing or more important, can do, to do its part in not destroying our ecosystem. If you didn’t like Gore’s movie or didn’t see it because you don’t like Al Gore or don’t think that many elements of the environmental movement are worthwhile, this book is an even more important read, as it brings the theoretical and scientific to the practical and treats sustainability as the corporate world must treat it in order to adopt it as a mainstream practice — as a driver of capitalistic profit and competitive advantage.
This is a really important work in terms of advancing the cause of corporate social responsibility as it applies to the environment. Most important, it proves the axiom here that you can, in fact, Do Well by Doing Good. If you’re interested, you can pre-order the book here. Also, the authors are writing a companion blog which you can get to here.