Global Sus­tain­abil­ity

21 Lead­ing CEOS Show How to Do Well by Do­ing Good

Foreword Reviews - - Spotlight Reviews Climate Change -

Mark Le­fko, Mor­gan James Pub­lish­ing Soft­cover $17.95 (146pp), 978-1-68350-176-3

Clear and con­cise, Global Sus­tain­abil­ity, with ex­am­ples drawn from the cor­po­rate world, func­tions as a man­ual for large-scale busi­ness sus­tain­abil­ity.

Though it does deal with eco­log­i­cal sus­tain­abil­ity, this book tack­les sus­tain­abil­ity in ev­ery sense, en­com­pass­ing com­mu­nity eco­nom­ics, em­ployee own­er­ship, and public im­age. The au­thor has done a fine job lin­ing up high-pro­file busi­ness types, in­clud­ing Richard Bran­son of Vir­gin Air­lines and Walter Robb of Whole Foods, to de­liver ad­vice for the as­pir­ing sus­tain­able busi­ness. The mes­sage is that sus­tain­able busi­ness is not only pos­si­ble, but prefer­able and prof­itable.

The ap­proach is prac­ti­cal to the ex­treme, even to the point of nearly ig­nor­ing the usual eth­i­cally and morally high-minded rea­sons for en­gag­ing in sus­tain­abil­ity. This turns out to be its most sig­nif­i­cant strength, and in it­self may rep­re­sent an in­no­va­tion in the cli­mate-change and so­cial-re­spon­si­bil­ity dis­cus­sions as far as the busi­ness world is con­cerned.

The au­thor presents many solid old ar­gu­ments in fresh, con­vinc­ing ways. Sev­eral hinge on aspects of the mod­ern world that would not have made sense twenty years ago, such as the ex­is­tence of the In­ter­net. Ad­di­tion­ally, the book avoids pol­i­tics al­to­gether. It cov­ers solely the busi­ness world and pro­poses that busi­ness is pow­er­ful enough—and self-in­ter­ested enough— to change the world for its own good. Take­away sum­mary points at the end of each brief chap­ter rep­re­sent re­li­able short­hand for busi­ness­peo­ple who find them­selves with­out the cal­en­dar space to de­vote to an overly philo­soph­i­cal or aca­demic look at sus­tain­abil­ity in busi­ness. This is a book from an au­thor who both knows whom he is talk­ing to and who speaks their lan­guage flu­ently.

In gen­eral, Global Sus­tain­abil­ity is like­lier to be use­ful to ex­pe­ri­enced, es­tab­lished busi­nesses, es­pe­cially large ones, than to small star­tups. Within large com­pa­nies, this book should be con­sid­ered re­quired read­ing.

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