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Next Sustainability Wave, The [Paperback]

Bob Willard , Hunter Lovins

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Book Description

July 21 2009 Conscientious Commerce

The idea of sustainability has been embraced enthusiastically by some businesses and rejected by others. The first wave of corporate converts to sustainability was driven by a PR crisis perhaps, regulatory pressures, or the founder's personal passion. The next wave, however, requires different drivers if it is to build a critical mass for corporate responsibility in the business community.

The Next Sustainability Wave assesses why companies have resisted sustainability strategies and focuses on two emerging drivers that promise to spur corporate commitment to sustainability strategies:

  • a compelling business case, and
  • a "perfect storm" of threatening market forces on the horizon that range from climate change to the rising demands of stakeholders.

An effective carrot-and-stick duo, these two drivers are both triggering the need for change and providing a vision of business success if the transition to sustainable operations, products, and services is smartly managed.

Emphasizing the importance of how sustainability is presented to corporate leaders - using the right language, and avoiding threats to the status quo that provoke habitual corporate defense mechanisms -- the book applies effective selling techniques to reposition sustainability strategies as a means to achieving existing corporate ends, rather than as a separate priority to worry about. It sells sustainability as a solution, a business strategy, and a catalyst for business transformation. An appendix gives a version of the sustainability business case for Small-to-Medium-level Enterprises.

Designed for quick reading and reference -- right pages furthering the argument, while left pages provide support materials -- the book is especially useful for those wanting to convince busy executives and board members.

(2004-12-01)

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Review

The idea of sustainability has been embraced enthusiastically by some businesses and rejected by others. The first wave of corporate converts to sustainability was driven by a PR crisis perhaps, regulatory pressures, or the founder's personal passion. The next wave, however, requires different drivers if it is to build a critical mass for corporate responsibility in the business community.

The Next Sustainability Wave assesses why companies have resisted sustainability strategies and focuses on two emerging drivers that promise to spur corporate commitment to sustainability strategies:

  • a compelling business case, and
  • a "perfect storm" of threatening market forces on the horizon that range from climate change to the rising demands of stakeholders.

An effective carrot-and-stick duo, these two drivers are both triggering the need for change and providing a vision of business success if the transition to sustainable operations, products, and services is smartly managed.

Emphasizing the importance of how sustainability is presented to corporate leaders - using the right language, and avoiding threats to the status quo that provoke habitual corporate defense mechanisms -- the book applies effective selling techniques to reposition sustainability strategies as a means to achieving existing corporate ends, rather than as a separate priority to worry about. It sells sustainability as a solution, a business strategy, and a catalyst for business transformation. An appendix gives a version of the sustainability business case for Small-to-Medium-level Enterprises.

Designed for quick reading and reference -- right pages furthering the argument, while left pages provide support materials -- the book is especially useful for those wanting to convince busy executives and board members.

(2004-12-01)

About the Author

Bob Willard uses his senior management experience from his 34-year career at IBM to create a business case for corporate sustainability strategies. He has delivered hundreds of keynote presentations on the subject to corporations, consultants, academics and NGOs world-wide. He is also the author of The Sustainability Advantage and The Next Sustainability Wave and has produced The Business Case for Sustainability DVD.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great resource for corporate insiders Aug. 29 2005
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've been looking for quite awhile for a book that provides support for introducing sustainability thinking into business planning in a way that might appeal to CEOs. I didn't find one until I found this new book by Bob Willard. (Note: Hunter Lovins provides a foreword).

Bob Willard claims this book fills a unique niche, and as far as I know he's right. And it's an important niche for readers who are trying to build a business case for sustainability.

The book is an easy read, which shouldn't be confused with a simplistic treatment of complex information. Willard organizes a lot of material drawn from a wide range of sources into a coherent and well-argued whole. He also includes a lot of well selected quotations around the topic.

His bibliography at the end of the book is also very good.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Resource March 28 2007
By George F. Reinhart - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My job brings me in contact with many F1000 executives who have responsibility for CSR/citizenship/responsibility/sustainability/etc and I read this book to broaden my view of the topic. I found it to be interesting in its format, content and point of view. I highly recommend it if sustainability is taking on a strategic importance to your business and you need to hold your own when discussing the finer points of it all with senior management and boards. Or, you are a senior manager and need to reach decisions about the role of sustainability in your planning. Read this book. You won't regret the investment of time or money.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy read, straightforward Feb. 21 2006
By jennifer_76 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is the first book I read on the topic of sustainability and I found it to be very approachable. The concepts were easy to grasp and it was written/formatted to be part example, part theory. I'd recommend it wholeheartedly.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A useful perspective Jan. 1 2008
By Jennifer L. Costley - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book was required reading for a course in Environmental Intrapreneurism. The author's background in corporate management makes him ideally suited to help position environmental recommendations in the context of the corporation by helping to build the business case on a solid economic as well as "green" foundation. The writing is very straighforward and based on many interviews of corporate as well as non-profit leaders. The inclusion of quotation from many of the interviews (which seems at first to be a bit incidental) ultimately helps to reinforce the content.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Introduction to Sustainability Issues Sept. 3 2009
By Kristen Gunderson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I found this book to be a great primer and had many examples that I could use to help show the cases for sustainability for clients that were considering implementing and/or growing their sustainability efforts. It is a quick read and drives home the point that a company's efforts should be complimentary to what they "do" as a business.

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