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The Green to Gold Business Playbook: How to Implement Sustainability Practices for Bottom-Line Results in Every Business Function

ISBN: 978-1-118-01089-1
384 pages
April 2011
The Green to Gold Business Playbook: How to Implement Sustainability Practices for Bottom-Line Results in Every Business Function (1118010892) cover image


"Implement the green strategies outlined in Dan Esty's and Andrew Winston’s bestseller Green to Gold"

Hard-nosed business advice for gaining competitive advantage through sustainability action in buildings and operations, information technology, product design, sourcing, manufacturing, logistics and transportation, marketing, accounting, and other key business functions

Whether you are a climate change skeptic or an environmentalist, sustainability issues cannot be ignored in today’s corporate world.  With rising energy and natural resource costs, intensified regulations, investor pressures, and a growing demand for environmentally friendly products, sustainability is no longer an option—it’s a business imperative.

Unlike many green business books, the Playbook skips the environmental ideology and deals exclusively with tools and strategies that have been shown to cut costs, reduce risks, drive revenues, and build brand identity.

  • Builds on Dan Esty and Andrew Winston’s prizewinning Green to Gold, which has become a business classic and a staple of management training across the world.
  • Shows in detail how each business function or department can achieve an eco-advantage over the competition
  • Offers frameworks, checklists, and action plans applicable to any business–big or small, in manufacturing or services

The Green to Gold Business Playbook gives you the tools to make green work-and work profitably-for your business.

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Table of Contents



Part One Introduction.

1 Why Every Business Needs an Eco-Strategy.

2 How to Use This Book.

Part Two Gear Up: What Leaders Need to Know.

3 Building a Winning Eco-Advantage Strategy: Top 10 Action Items.

4 Making the Internal Business Case for Going Greener.

Part Three Analyze: Identify Your Eco-Risks and Opportunities.

5 Spot the Eco-Issues that Could Impact Your Bottom Line.

6 Assess and Measure Your Environmental Impacts.

7 Benchmark Your Performance against Competitors and Best Practices.

Part Four Strategize: How Each Business Function Can Benefit and Contribute.

8 Office Activities.

9 Buildings and Facilities.

10 Information Technology.

11 Product Design.

12 Sourcing and Procurement.

13 Manufacturing and Processing.

14 Logistics and Transport.

15 Marketing and Sales.

16 Legal and Regulatory Affairs.

17 Accounting and Finance.

Part Five Mobilize: Execute and Engage.

18 Create an Action Plan—and Execute.

19 Build Your Climate Change Plan.

20 Mobilize Employees and Build an Eco-Advantage Culture.

21 Engaging Stakeholders.

Part Six Optimize: Evaluate, Report, and Reassess.

22 Communicate and Report Results.

23 Celebrate Success and Promote Continuous Improvement.



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Author Information

Daniel C. Esty is the coauthor of the sustainable business bestseller Green to Gold. He is the Hillhouse Professor of Environmental Law and Policy at Yale University and Director of the Center for Business and the Environment at Yale. He served as a senior official at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and more recently as an energy and environmental advisor to the Obama presidential campaign and transition team. As Chairman of Esty Environmental Partners (www.EstyEP.com), he’s advised CEOs across the world and designed strategies for 100+ companies in dozens of industries.

P. J. Simmons is Chairman if the Corporate Eco Forum (www.ecoforum.com), a preeminent network of senior Global 500 executives focused on sharing best and “next” practice in corporate sustainability and driving ecoinnovation. He has worked as a sustainability analyst, strategist, and bridge-builder for fifteen years; is founder of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars’ Environmental Change and Security Program; and was deputy chair for climate and energy at the Clinton Global Initiative. P. J. is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

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The Green to Gold Business Playbook shows how the solutions to mammoth, global problems can turn a good business into a great one - one ready to compete and win.
— Jeff Immelt, Chairman and CEO, GE

There are many books out there exhorting companies to reduce their environmental impacts, but very few that give detailed practical guidance. From product design to facilities management, from information technology to logistics and transport, this book contains insightful suggestions as to how businesses can be more sustainable, reduce carbon emissions, and yet at the same time save money and drive top line growth.
— Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever

Environmental performance has become an essential part of company strategy. Esty and Simmons provide a clear road map for how companies can turn this agenda into a competitive advantage.
—Michael Porter Bishop William Lawrence University Professor, Harvard Business School

The Green to Gold Business Playbook is a terrific practical roadmap to help companies reduce their environmental impact while also improving economic performance.
— Andrea Jung, CEO, Avon

We need smart corporate engagement for major environmental efforts to be successful. Here's the guide to realizing both environmental and bottom-line gains through eco-strategy.
— Mark Tercek, The Nature Conservancy

Economic gravity always wins – The Green to Gold Business Playbook reveals how simple economics can drive greener businesses.
— Vinod Khosla, Khosla Ventures

Business is what changes the world.  Esty and Simmons’ seasoned guidance is pure gold for 21st century entrepreneurs who know that sustainability comes out of a drive to innovate.
—Gary Hirshberg, CE-Yo of Stonyfield Farm

Leading companies are now embedding sustainability into every aspect of their business -- not as a PR exercise but as a core strategy to be a successful enterprise in the 21st Century. The Green to Gold Business Playbook is an invaluable resource.
— Muhtar Kent, Chairman and CEO, The Coca-Cola Company

The private sector’s decisions to design, source, and distribute products will in no small part determine the future of the world’s wildlife. The most progressive companies are looking ahead and charting a course for sustainability. Dan Esty and P.J. Simmons' book provides them with invaluable tools to move in that direction.
— Carter Roberts, World Wildlife Fund

Part of Waste Management’s strategy has been to gain an Eco-Advantage. This book picks up where Green to Gold left off with a really practical playbook for companies seeking to execute their own eco-strategies.
—Dave Steiner, CEO Waste Management

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