“Sustainability” is more than a buzzword. It’s a value that shapes the decision-making of consumers and investors alike. Paul Pierroz’s handbook provides a method for how companies can not only adapt to a new, sustainability-centric world but see it as a strategic opportunity.
Executive, consultant and author Pierroz introduces the concept of sustainability for a business audience. He examines how the need for sustainability will disrupt business-as-usual and offers basic facts about climate science and carbon emissions.
Pierroz then discusses how businesses can leverage the disruptive forces of sustainability, for example by taking advantage of the trend toward responsible investing; by meeting the needs of all stakeholders (which might involve new partners or regulatory bodies); and by using standard measures of sustainability to track the company’s commitment to change.
The author also presents an Impact Model for evaluating how the need for sustainability will affect a company’s economics, stakeholders, the utilization of its products, and society at large.
He shows how to account for sustainability throughout the product lifecycle; how to build support for sustainability within a company, and how to involve change agents to do so.
Finally, Pierroz discusses tactics for messaging and how to seize the narrative to market the benefits of sustainability. He also presents some related tools, including a portfolio that captures a company’s positive environmental impacts and how to report publicly on sustainability initiatives.
Pierroz illustrates his points with many interesting personal anecdotes, as well as instructive company case studies. Executives interested in how sustainability will impact their businesses will find practical wisdom in Pierroz’s approach.
One drawback, however, is his tendency toward vagueness. For example, one chapter subtitle reads: “Your direction is of prime concern. Be sure to make the link.” The link to what exactly? He also uses the passive voice frequently, which makes who is doing what unclear.
The book covers a vast scope. Clarifying and even deleting some material would sharpen the important message Pierroz delivers.
Also available as an ebook.