Embedded Sustainability: The Next Big Competitive Advantage

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9781906093587: Embedded Sustainability: The Next Big Competitive Advantage
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Companies know how to meet the demands of shareholder value - years of managerial excellence testify to this achievement. Many also know how to create stakeholder value - through traditional approaches such as CSR and philanthropy that predictably lead to trade-offs and added costs. What remains elusive is discovering is how to meet both shareholder and stakeholder requirements in the core business - without mediocrity and without compromise - creating value for the company that cannot be disentangled from the value it creates for society and the environment. What if sustainability was embedded into the DNA of your organization? How can you incorporate environmental, health and social value into its very core? Many companies, despite their best intentions, 'bolt-on' sustainability as an afterthought to their core strategies,. They trumpet green initiatives and social philanthropy that lie at the margins of the business, with symbolic wins that inadvertently highlight the unsustainability of the rest of their activities. Today's ecological and social pressures require a different business response-one that existing strategy frameworks fail to adequately address. In 'Embedded Sustainability', authors Chris Laszlo and Nadya Zhexembayeva explain and predict how companies can better leverage global challenges for enduring profit and sustained growth. They introduce the marquis concept of embedded sustainability: the incorporation of environmental, health, and social value into the heartbeat of the product life cycle with no trade-off in price or quality-no social or green premium. This book helps readers to comprehend and implement the notion of embedded sustainability. At its best, embedded sustainability is invisible, similar to quality. In addition to delivering socially- and environmentally-conscious products for consumers, it is capable of hugely motivating employees. Most of all, it enables smart companies to create even more value for both their shareholders and stakeholders. It's a new way of thinking about strategy. And it's vital for every sector of the economy - whether managers realize it or not.

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'Market shifts create winners and losers; and companies must innovate to survive... The question 'does it pay to be green?' becomes nonsensical. It is the same as asking 'does it pay to innovate?' The answer depends on who does it, when they do it and how they do it. As this book explains, to answer these questions, the business executive must put aside 'green' considerations and concentrate on business fundamentals... This is not an issue of 'corporate social responsibility'. This is an issue of market economics and business strategy... It is just becoming the way we do business. That is the overriding message of this book.' --Andrew J. Hoffman, Holcim (US) Professor of Sustainable Enterprise, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

We are in the midst of a tectonic shift: The industrial corporate model of the 19th century is dying and being replaced by the sustainable enterprise model of the 21st century. In this new world of declining resources, radical transparency, and increasing expectations, corporate social responsibility will no longer be enough. In this book, Laszlo and Zhexembayeva show clearly that the defining characteristic of the successful 21st century corporation will be its ability to embed sustainability in every fiber of its being. And even more importantly, embedded sustainability will hold the key to future profit and value creation. --Stuart L. Hart, S. C. Johnson Chair in Sustainable Global Enterprise, Cornell University and author of Capitalism at the Crossroad

In this elegantly written book, authors Chris Laszlo and Nadya Zhexembayeva make a very compelling case for what is effectively not only a new business model and new business paradigm, but indeed a business imperative. Three dominant external driving forces prevail: declining resources, radical transparency, and increasing expectations. While recognizing what are in many ways stark and quite alarming realities such as the depletion of fisheries the great novelty and value of the book is the beacon the authors provide in showing business leaders how strategically embedded sustainability will be a source of profits as well as value for all stakeholders. --Jean-Pierre Lehmann, Professor of International Political Economy, IMD (Switzerland); Founding Director, The Evian Group

About the Author:

Chris Laszlo is the author of Sustainable Value: How the World's Leading Companies Are Doing Well by Doing Good (Greenleaf Publishing and Stanford University Press, 2008) and The Sustainable Company: How to Create Lasting Value through Social and Environmental Performance (Island Press, 2003). He is an Associate Professor at Case Western Reserve University's Weatherhead School of Management, where he is the Faculty Research Director at the Fowler Center for Sustainable Value. Chris is also the co-founder and Managing Partner of Sustainable Value Partners, LLC, an advisory services firm specialized in sustainability for business advantage. Nadya Zhexembayeva is the Coca-Cola Chair of Sustainable Development at IEDC-Bled School of Management, the European business school based in Slovenia, where she teaches leadership, organizational design, and sustainability strategy. Nadya currently serves as Vice-President of Challenge:Future , a global youth think-tank. She is a member of the Advisory Board of the Fowler Center for Sustainable Value at the Weatherhead School of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Nadya is also an Associate Partner of Sustainable Value Partners, LLC.

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9780804775540: Embedded Sustainability: The Next Big Competitive Advantage

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Publisher: Stanford Business Books, 2011
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