Strategy for Sustainability [Giveaway]


We're giving away a copy of this book to one commenter below, so make sure to comment with a valid email before midnight on Friday, July 24, 2009.*

Harvard Business Press was kind enough to provide a copy of Adam Werbach's much anticipated book called Strategy for Sustainability: A Business Manifesto, which is definitely worth grabbing.  Werbach is a polarizing figure in the environmentalist world, and I guess you could say the debate centers upon his strategy to "work with rather than against large corporations."  There are environmentalists that absolutely abhor corporations, but there are also environmentalists that try to change the world through corporations.  Werbach aligns himself with the latter and provides his sustainable strategy for doing so in this new book. 

Werbach starts with an expanded and sensible definition of "sustainability."  He explains that a sustainable business is one that thrives in perpetuity — a business that can last the the craziest of economic fluctuations.  It's not "green" or anything fleeting like that, rather true sustainability has four equally important components: social, economic, environmental, and cultural.

Werbach also discusses three tools of sustainability: (1) making information transparent, (2) engaging people inside the company, and (3) leveraging networks of customers, suppliers, and communities.  Companies with a legitimate strategy for sustainability will be able to use these three tools to identify and solve pressing problems. 

So far, I'm only partially through the book, but I'm devouring it — it's chock full of worthwhile discussion.  If you're an MBA, entrepreneur, sustainability officer, or some other kind of forward-thinking strategy geek, I'd suggest grabbing this, together with Natural Capitalism, Cradle to Cradle, Ecology of Commerce, Green to Gold, and a Mid-Course Correction, among a few others.  You can grab a copy using the links below:

[+] Strategy for Sustainability on Amazon.
[+] Strategy for Sustainability by Adam Werbach.

*If you're interested in the book, drop a comment by midnight MST on Friday, July, 24, 2009.  Say where you're from if you don't know what to say.  By leaving a comment, you agree to the terms and conditions relating to book giveaways on Jetson Green.  Shipping only within U.S.

  • Anonymous

    Simply stated you need both those who are willing to work with Corporations and against those ( especially the worst offenders ). No sports team would only have just an offense or just a defense. Obviously, you develop your strategic plans around your talent. However, even the worst teams will have both offense and defense. Therefore, working with and against corporations are the same general philosophy. Harry M. Valentine

  • Anonymous

    would very much like this book. :)

  • Chuck

    Corporations… can’t live with them, can’t live without them.

  • Miranda

    Capitalism as it stands in our country today is not sustainable. However, perhaps the only way to interest a large portion of our population in engaging in sustainable practices is to use capitalism as the vehicle. While we then run the risk of “selling” sustainability only to those who can afford it, we gain the publicity and accompanying dialogue necessary for this movement to gain momentum. hm…

  • Anonymous

    I’m working on Ecology of Commerce; this looks like a great follow-up.

  • Anonymous

    Tis book looks sweet. Hope I win!

  • Josh Stack

    That sounds like the worst definition of sustainability ever! Corporations already enjoy most rights of individuals as well as perpetual existence…

    I’m for working with anyone or any company, so long as there’s a good faith commitment on both/all sides

    • Preston

      Your points are well taken. To be fair to the author, the definition is explained in detail in the book and includes this good faith commitment. Also it’s not just that a corporation should exist in perpetuity, but that it should thrive in perpetuity. When combined with the SEEC framework, which Werbach explains, the definition is interesting.

  • elaine cohen

    hi, i am elaine and i run a sustainability consulting firm in Israel. The Israeli market is very slow in its take-up of sustainability principles which is a constant source both of frustration and opportunity for me. I have heard much about Adam Werbach’s book and plan to read it (whether i receive a free copy or not!) in the expectation that i will gain further insights to drive corporations based in Israel along the journey to sustainable development. Warm regards, elaine

  • Jo Ann

    I am lovin’ it!

  • Anonymous

    this sort of thinking is where the rubber meets the road. applying sustainable concepts on a large scale is the true challenge. we can conserve and economize at home all we want but until the concepts are understood by the giants, we will be hacking the bean stalk with a butter knife…

  • Anonymous

    This looks like a great book and would use it often if I won it.

    • Preston

      Fultojd, congratulations on winning the Strategy for Sustainability book giveaway! I’ll email you directly to get your address for mailing. Good luck to everyone else with the next giveaway. We have 5-6 coming soon.

  • Nicole

    And there are environmentalists who abhor corporations AND recognize the necessity of working with them.

  • Anonymous

    Looks neat, interested to see how it compares and contrasts with Lovins, McDonough, et al.

  • Krista

    Looks like a good book.

  • M Realty

    I would love a copy! :-)


  • Shannon C.

    As someone who has worked “from the inside” on environmental, corporate responsibility, and sustainability issues for more than 15 years, I look forward to reading Werbach’s book and comparing it to my own experience. I hope it will also offer some new insights and strategies as I continue being a change agent from within…

  • pamvanorden

    We need to approach sustainability from all angles, big and small. Let’s focus on healing our one, shared planet instead of wasting energy criticizing each other’s methods.

    • Anonymous

      Pam, when those methods don’t objectively heal, that’s not necessarily wasted effort or unfounded criticism.

      Many would argue that perpetuating the current corporate model is perpetuating the main engine of destruction of the Earth’s capacity for self-healing.

      I’ll certainly qualify that I haven’t read the book yet but based on excerpts of the author’s past work, I’m just not sure, or maybe more accurately, I’m not yet convinced.

      Maybe if I win the book, it’ll change my mind!

  • Anonymous

    there’s no choice really, we have to work WITH businesses to ever achieve sustainability. however, some stiff regulations/disincentives that actually make it easier for businesses to operate in an eco mindset are also required. Non profits keep us on target, government sets up the rails.

  • Paul

    Another excellent give-away! Sign me up. Always interested in strategies for working both inside (in this case) and outside the system.

  • Anonymous

    I’m in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and am working with the local electric/natural gas utility do help new buildings be more energy efficient. So many designers and builders try to “add efficiency” to their buildings. I’m trying to convince them to simply change their behaviours and their processes to be efficient from the beginning and you won’t have to add anything at all.
    Sounds like I could get some help from the book.


  • Anonymous

    I agree with the author that it is likely more effective to work within the business community to implement significant change. On the other hand, it is incredibly frustrating to instigate change. There is lots of interest in the idea of change but apparently a lack of commitment to producing the effort needed to realize noticeable steps toward sustainability.
    I look forward to the opportunity to review the book.

  • zoic

    Thanks for offering a chance to win this book!

  • Joe

    This looks great – I’d love to win it. I am also looking forward to an Andrew Winston book from Harvard Business Press — I think that one is Green to Gold.

    • Preston

      I think Green to Gold, which is Daniel Esty with Winston, is Yale (hardback) and Wiley (paperback). The one from HBP is Green Recovery, which we just received in the mail. We’ll give a copy of Green Recovery away soon.

  • Michael Portegies

    hi from Wageningen, NL

  • Anonymous

    Fingers crossed!

  • Anonymous

    I am a MBA student at Antioch University, New England. The full title of the degree is MBA in Organizational and Environmental Sustainability. As a 55 year old student, I am so happy to be involved in this cause. My generation might have run out of steam to deal with the challenge, but I love the younger students and their commitment and energy. Together we can make progress!

    It always makes me happy when I find another on-line community that is working to create a more sustainable world.

  • Anonymous

    Cant wait to get my hands on this.

  • Anonymous

    WANT! ohhh how i want this!

  • Steve B

    *does a lil soft-shoe tap dance*

  • Joe

    I’d love a copy of the business manifesto Strategy for Sustainability by Adam Werbach. I’ve read Natural Capitalism, Cradle to Cradle, Ecology of Commerce, Green to Gold- Hats off to Paul Hawken being patient enough and strong enough to stick with it at WalMart in order to get the ball rolling there. True sustainability requires everyone changing……everyone.

  • KC Krause

    Sounds interesting. Reading Cradle to Cradle (Great!) and Green to Gold (Very good). Much theory and little reality so far but after the collapse of the Greenspan/Friedman economic theory in 2008 (after a great 28 year run!) it is a great time to try some new ideas. Good luck to all!

  • John

    Sounds interesting. Maybe I will be lucky and pick up a free copy.

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