The leading guide to driving growth and profits through green strategynow revised and updated
"Green to Gold provides the definitive thinking on how business leaders can address environmental issues."
Michael E. Porter, Professor, Harvard Business School
"The future of our country depends on getting on a sustainable track . . .Green to Gold blazes a trail for businesses of all kinds to follow."
Michael Morris, CEO, American Electric Power
"Rich with both big-picture thinking and practical suggestions."
Larry Linden, Advisory Director, Goldman Sachs
"A compelling blueprint for how companies can address critical environmental problems."
William K. Reilly, former administrator,U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
"Green to Gold is a must-read for the twenty-first-century CEO."
Tensie Whelan, Executive Director, Rainforest Alliance
The business world and the natural world are inextricably linked. Our economy and society depend on natural resources. Every product comes from something mined or grown. The environment provides critical support to our economic system - not financial capital, but natural capital. And the evidence is growing that we re systematically undermining our asset base and weakening some of our vital support systems.
Why are the world s biggest, toughest, most profit-seeking companies like General Electric, Wal-Mart and others talking about the environment now? Because they have to. The forces coming to bear on companies are real and growing. Almost without exception, industry groups are facing an unavoidable new array of environmentally driven issues. Like any revolution, this new Green Wave presents an unprecedented challenge to business as usual.
As the business world wakes up to the fact that many natural resources are finite, a second reality is emerging in parallel: Limits can create opportunities. Companies that manage nature s bounty and boundaries best will minimize vulnerabilities and move ahead of their competitors.
Top 10 Environmental Issues
Here are the top 10 environmental issues facing humanity:
Building the Upside
Environmental strategy has been on a long march for the past 40 years, from a tactical focus on compliance, to an additional - but still tactical - emphasis on costs and efficiency, to a more strategic view centered on growth opportunities. More and more companies now see the top-line potential from artfully managing the pressures of the Green Wave.
The Eco-Advantage Mindset
Those who ride the Green Wave - WaveRiders - build a foundation for Eco-Advantage by reframing how everyone in the company looks at environmental issues. For these companies, environmental thinking is not always the final word on strategy, but it is always a consideration.
WaveRiders use an environmental lens to change the way they think and sharpen their business strategies. Environmental thinking becomes intrinsic to how they do business. Deeply embedded, the Eco-Advantage Mindset arises naturally at every opportunity.
The Eco-Advantage Mindset is a powerful motivator and the core of the environmental lens that helps companies step up to challenges and find opportunities for seizing advantage. But it s just the beginning. Companies need tools to get going. Getting the lay of the land requires thinking and analysis that might not come naturally. Eco-Tracking helps to answer fundamental but sometimes unfamiliar questions:
Pollution Prevention Hierarchy
For most companies, the state of the art in environmental thinking can be summed up with the slogan, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Most companies are still working on integrating these three Rs into the production process.
The pollution-prevention hierarchy has two further levels. Before reducing, companies should explore ways to redesign what they do and how they do it. And even before that, they should try to reimagine their products or processes. Just as companies have learned it s generally cheaper to reduce than to reuse, recycle or throw out, now they are discovering that it is often more profitable to redesign and reimagine.
Eco-Advantage has a twin logic. On one hand, the strategic gains are based on hard-edged analysis. The business case for environmental stewardship grows stronger every day.
In parallel, there s a strong case for corporate environmental care. WaveRiders have made money by refining their business strategies to incorporate environmental factors. But as much as they are driven by profits, they are also aware that their stewardship helps more than the bottom line. When short-term gains don t justify green initiatives, they are willing to look for long-term value for themselves and their workers, for their communities, and for the planet. The gold they ve discovered by going green is not only about money. Copyright © 2007 Soundview Executive Book Summaries