Managers have increasingly been requested to base eco-investments on solid grounds. They need to know what they should do first, and why. Should they focus on generating carbon credits via eco-efficiencies? Enhance corporate reputation by joining Green Clubs? Subscribe to eco-label programs? Explore emerging cleantech markets? Within the overwhelming possibilities, many do a bit of everything and spend precious resources without sound rationales.
By analysing the rationales for sustainability strategies, Sustainability Strategies addresses a timely question for managers, academics and MBAs: 'when does it pay to be green?' Based on solid theoretical foundations and empirical research, it clarifies the elements involved in the formation and evaluation of sustainability strategies in firms. Through the systematic use of analytical frameworks, Sustainability Strategies helps managers to prioritize eco-investments, and transform them into sources of competitive advantage and new market spaces.
"Very useful for managers and investors looking to prioritise environmental projects based on solid management principles."
– Ethical Corporation Magazine
"This book presents a clear and comprehensive analysis of the business challenge of using environmentalism as a source of competitive advantage. Orsato has made a sophisticated contribution to our understanding of the strengths and limitations of sustainable business strategies. It can be read with profit by both managers and scholars who want to better understand the dynamics of corporate environmentalism."
– David Vogel, University of California, Berkeley, US.
"Why is this book so good? First, it is wonderful reading – it reads like a novel. Second, it doesn't try to change my beliefs or attitude. Instead, it provides me with useful tools to formulate and realise a sustainable strategy of my own. Third, there is a lot of experience in it. You know what Bismarck said? 'There is no experience like someone else's'. You bet he was right. I am certainly suggesting it to some of my managers."
– Ton Doesburg, CEO Alliander, Germany.
"Corporate environmentalism is not philanthropy but an indispensable new approach to the business model. How do we make it pay? Read this important book to find out."
– André Hoffmann, Vice-chairman Roche Group, Switzerland and WWF international.
"Sustainability has become a hot topic in the corporate strategy realm. But it is not enough for executives to know that the whole world is going "green". Figuring out when and how and where to bring a green focus to business is critical. Sustainability Strategies helps clarify the opportunities and challenges in this regard with systematic analysis, carefully explained corporate examples, and thoughtful discussion about the limits of efforts to green business."
– Dan Esty, Professor, Yale University and Director of the Center for Business and the Environment at Yale, as well as author of Green to Gold
"Orsato has produced a well structured and valuable set of insights into what makes for a winning sustainability strategy. The book is based on a robust blend of analytics, logic and examples. It is a practical guide about the real choices that drive sustainable competitive advantage. This research is an excellent contribution to strategic formulation in an area that will only grow in importance and significance to business leaders over the next decade."
– Mark Spelman, Global Head of Strategy, Accenture, London, UK.
"Unbundling oil from transportation requires re-engineering the economics of energy and transportation – both hundred year old industries that remain essentially the same today as they were then. Sustainability Strategies takes a refreshing approach to applying new ways of thinking in order to create sustainable transportation for the 21st century. By taking a realistic systems-wide approach, Orsato's book points towards solutions for the most pressing problems faced by the auto industry, while creating truly sustainable mobility systems. For that to happen, however, the industry needs to embrace new ways of thinking and new business models, including what Better Place offers."
– Shai Agassi, Founder and CEO, Better Place, California, US.
"I have been working and publishing on the topic of sustainability since the 1960s and it is always a pleasant surprise to learn something new. Orsato's book is such a surprise. It provides not only a well grounded analysis of the rationale for more sustainable business models, but also provides fascinating stories about people and firms that have made the attempt, some successfully, some not [...] "
– Robert Ayres, Emeritus Professor, INSEAD
"It is refreshing to find a book with an academic foundation that is easy to read and provides practical management insight. This is particularly significant when dealing with sustainability; a topic that frequently generates more heat than light. Dr Orsato, in Sustainability Strategies, recognises the competitive market place, and applies rational business decision models to meet the challenge of translating sustainability into successful business strategy. Using his detailed studies of businesses from around the globe he explores the successes and failures of firms embarking along green paths. Insightful questions are posed allowing managers to get to the heart of environmental strategy and competitive advantage, avoiding the pitfalls of seduction by feel good factors."
– Richard Christie, General Manager, Strategic Development, Ravensdown Fertiliser Co-op, New Zealand
"In the long term, all businesses must live in harmony with their environments, but how to do so has long been the subject of anecdotal feelgood stories rather than real analysis. This book provides useful models, strategies and examples for charting a sustainable course into the future"
– Frans Cornelis, Managing Director, Group Marketing& Communications, Randstad Holding, Holland.
"Does it pay to invest in IT? Yes, but only if one combines the investment with upgrading people and organizational capabilities and if one links the investment to innovation. Does it pay to be green? Yes, but again, only if this investment is linked to upgrading capabilities and to innovative business models. That is what this long overdue book shows through a set of convincing case examples put in the framework of value innovation. Being green pays and this book tells the reader how to go about making green investments profitable."
– Luk Van Wassenhove, the Henry Ford Professor of Manufacturing, and Academic Director of the INSEAD Social Innovation Centre.
"We now know that we cannot interpret history without a better understanding of ecology. We truly do impact a resource-constrained world and face major issues. This very worthwhile book is for managers and academics, business leaders and specialists. It links key environmental issues and choices to hard-nosed matters of strategy and competitiveness. It breaks new ground with excellent, insightful examples from different industries and a very realistic approach"
– Anthony Simon, Former President of Marketing, Unilever; member of the Board of IIIEE, Lund University and of INSEAD´s Alumni Sustainability
"These days we all profess to support sustainability, and many organizations want 'to do the right thing'. But how can managers make decisions to guide them through the maze of options for eco-investments, stay focused and become greener? They can read this timely book!"
– Stewart Clegg, Professor of Management and Research Director of the Centre for Management and Organization Studies, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia.
"Orsato's global background provides a sweeping view of the many types of successful sustainability strategies firms have employed around the world. Each chapter focuses on one of Orsato's sustainability strategies, and each strategy comes with a useful checklist of questions managers need to address before pursuing it."
– Charles J. Corbett, Professor of Operations Management and Environmental Management, UCLA Anderson School of Management, Los Angeles
"As we confront climate change and move toward the low carbon economy, this book will be an invaluable guide for executives who seek to align environmental and social investments with the strategy of the enterprise. Orsato has taken a highly strategic approach and created a systematic, theoretically-based but practical guide to where to make investments for sustainability strategy which will both benefit the planet and enhance competitiveness. The argument is clearly laid out, logically developed and presented in clear accessible English. I recommend it highly for reading by both executives and students in MBA strategy courses."
– Dexter Dunphy, Visiting Professor, University of Technology, Sydney
PART I - FUNDAMENTALS
1 - WHEN DOES IT PAY TO BE GREEN?
2 – WHAT ARE SUSTAINABILITY STRATEGIES?
PART II – COMPETITIVE ENVIRONMENTALISM
3 - ECO-EFFICIENCY
4 - BEYOND COMPLIANCE LEADERSHIP
5 - ECO-BRANDING
6 - ENVIRONMENTAL COST LEADERSHIP
PART III – BEYOND COMPETITION
7 - SUSTAINABLE VALUE INNOVATION
8 - SUSTAINABILITY STRATEGIES AND BEYOND
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Renato J. Orsato is Senior Research Fellow at the INSEAD Social Innovation Centre, Fontainebleau, France. He has also been Professor at the International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics, at Lund University, Sweden, and at the Graduate School of Business, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia. Renato holds a PhD in Management, a Masters (Honors) in Organization Studies and Honors degrees in Civil Engineering and Business Administration. He has written several teaching cases and book chapters, and published in academic journals such as California Management Review, Organization Studies, Journal of Industrial Ecology, Organization & Environment, Business Strategy and the Environment, Journal of Cleaner Production, and Sustainable Development Journal. In addition to his academic work, in the past 15 years Dr Orsato consulted private and public organizations in Brazil, his home-country, as well as in the European and Australasian regions.