Sustainable Business: An Executives Primer

A 10 Book Primer on Sustainability
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First termed crowdsourcing, stakeholders are the decision makers and contribute to the ongoing operations of the business. A particular example of an innovative business model emerging in this era of sustainable business is a social or open business model that engages stakeholders in determining and defining how the business will operate. Chapters 3 and 4 offer two further drivers which are surfacing for the next wave of companies getting aboard: market forces such as green consumers, activist shareholders, NGOs, governments, and the financial sector and a compelling business case. Involve and listen to employees, suppliers, customers, and others, including critics. Employees must also frequently receive communications related to sustainability progress. Sustainable Business : An Executive's Primer.

A focus on sustainability can also unlock opportunities for process and logistics savings. Wal-Mart, for example, aimed to double fleet efficiency between and through better routing, truck loading, driver training, and advanced technologies.

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Mounting evidence shows that sustainable companies deliver significant positive financial performance, and investors are beginning to value them more highly. Here are some other datapoints to consider: Between and , the top sustainable global companies experienced significantly higher mean sales growth, return on assets, profit before taxation, and cash flows from operations in some sectors compared to control companies.

The Benefits of Sustainability

Additionally, companies with superior environmental performance experienced lower cost of debt by basis points. Investors are paying attention. In its survey of over institutional investors, Some Companies are skeptical about consumer interest in sustainable products — especially where willingness-to-pay is concerned.

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However, a shift is occurring in the minds of consumers. In the food and beverage industry, a growing number of consumers are considering values beyond price and taste in their purchasing decisions, such as safety, social impact, and transparency.

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The results of these studies support that consumers in a post-Recession era are shifting purchasing decisions to brands with integrity, social responsibility, and sustainability at their core. Companies can also charge higher price premiums based on positive corporate responsibility performance.

Corporate sustainability initiatives aimed at improving ESG performance and proving value to society can increase employee loyalty, efficiency, and productivity and improve HR statistics related to recruitment, retention, and morale. Research is finding that 21 st century employees are focusing more on mission, purpose, and work-life balance.

A Primer on Sustainable Business

Companies that invest in sustainability initiatives tend to create sought-after culture and engagement due to company strategy focusing more on purpose and providing value to society. In addition, companies who embed sustainability in their core business strategy treat employees as critical stakeholders, just as important as shareholders. Employees are proud to work there and feel part of a broader effort.

Better morale and motivation translate into reduced absenteeism and improved productivity. Corporate responsibility performance also positively impacts turnover and recruitment. It can also reduce annual quit rates by But environmental destruction is blamed on advances made during the industrial revolution fueled by the business pursuit of profit.

The industrial revolution refers to the gains made by business and industry since the development of mechanization in manufacturing around the late s and throughout the s. These technological advances allowed society to move from small farms and agrarian lifestyles to agribusiness.

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From artisan handicrafts to mass production, oil lamps to gas lights, horse-powered wagons to steam-powered railways, business and industry were the heartbeat of the industrial revolution. But as a result of the industrial revolution, we have climate change, pollution, toxicity, landfills, dead zones, environmental degradation and more.


Because business and industry are partially responsible for our current environmental conditions, the social responsibility of business now is to save our planet. Scientists warn us that we are at a crucial time when radical change is needed. To avoid much worse impacts of climate change, scientists advise that we need to keep the average global temperature increase to no more than 2 degrees Celsius. Without radical innovative change, business-as-usual with small advances to reduce unsustainability could put us on the path to a 6 degree Celsius or more increase in average global temperatures.

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This is well beyond the 2-degree recommendation. Two reports in recent years from CDP and Ceres both confirm that business is not doing enough.

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"Sustainable Business: An Executive's Primer" is a brief introduction to sustainability as it applies to business. This book will offer an overview of how. Editorial Reviews. From the Inside Flap. Sustainable Business: An Executive's Primer is a brief.

Walmart has just settled a lawsuit for selling products in California that make these misleading biodegradable or compostable claims.