How Smart Companies Turn Sustainability into Billion-Dollar Businesses
Author: E. Freya Williams
Pub Date: August 2015
Print Edition: $27.95
Print ISBN: 9780814436134
Page Count: 288
e-Book ISBN: 9780814436141
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The words “sustainable” and “profitable” have long seemed at odds in the minds of business leaders. Crunchy granola ideals aren’t sexy or lucrative...or so goes the old way of thinking, in which the idea of being environmentally or socially conscious was code for sacrificing profits. The surprising reality, though, is that today, businesses built around sustainability—such as Tesla, Unilever, and Chipotle (which is now bigger than Burger King)—are growing faster than their conventional counterparts, commanding wider profit margins and knocking stalwarts of the strip mall, and titans of industry off their long-held leadership perches.
How has this new breed of the forward-thinking, billion-dollar company overturned the prevailing wisdom to become wildly successful by any standard . . . and how can you apply those lessons to your own organization? Based on the author’s unique first-hand experience of advising Fortune 500 companies including Coca-Cola, Unilever, and Kraft on their sustainable business strategies—and featuring exclusive interviews with C-Suite executives and proprietary research—Green Giants offers unprecedented insight, as well as a blueprint for success any organization can follow, on how to turn a strategy of sustainability into a billion-dollar business proposition.
Examining nine companies that are using sustainability and social responsibility as a springboard to wild profitability, the book reveals the six key factors responsible for their success, including:
• Iconoclastic Leadership—Most successful sustainable companies can trace their journeys back to one person, fueled by deep conviction and a rebellious streak, who started it all.
• Disruptive Innovation—The secret lies not in pursuing a more socially conscious version of an existing product . . . but in using sustainability to spur the development of radically better, category-disrupting products and services.
• A Higher Purpose—When the mission leads, profits follow. Learn to embrace the paradoxical wisdom that businesses ignited with a purpose beyond profit tend to outperform the competition.
• Mainstream Appeal—Win over a broader audience of mainstream consumers by showing them what’s in it for them.
Chances are, your assumptions about how to build a successful, sustainable business are wrong. Revealing the essential strategies used by socially and environmentally conscious companies that have achieved astounding success, Green Giants shows you how to replicate the same techniques in your own organization . . . and start rolling in the green.
E. FREYA WILLIAMS has advised organizations as varied as Coca-Cola, Unilever, Waste Management, and the United Nations, on how to incorporate sustainability and social good into their businesses and brands. The co-founder of OgilvyEarth, she is now CEO of Futerra, North America, and also served as EVP of Business+Social Purpose at Edelman. Her expertise has been featured in Newsweek, The Financial Times, and on NPR. Follow Freya at: twitter @freya1
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