by Aron Cramer, Zachary Karabell
Hardcover, 288 pages
$25.99 / $29.99 Can
The Future of Business in a Fast-Changing World By Aron Cramer and Zachary Karabell
The world of business is changing fast. The rise of emerging markets and rapid technological innovation present unique opportunities for businesses that get ahead of the curve. At the same time, the Gulf oil spill, the mortgage and financial crises, and over-consumption of natural resources demonstrate the need for fundamental changes to the way businesses operate. With the depletion of natural resources, climate change, rising consumer expectations, and a transparent world, “business as usual” will no longer suffice. The businesses that build social and environmental considerations into the DNA of their companies will survive and thrive in the years to come. In SUSTAINABLE EXCELLENCE: The Future of Business in a Fast-Changing World(Rodale Books; 978-1-60529-534-3; October 12; $25.99; 294 pages) authors Aron Cramer and Zachary Karabell share stories of the work they’ve done with industry leaders at top global companies, and show how these organizations are reinventing themselves in order to respond to—and shape—these paradigm shifts.
Cramer and Karabell define a sustainable business as one that “delivers value for investors, customers and employees; improves the living standards of its employees and the communities it touches; makes wise use of natural resources; and treats people fairly.” They write, “In order to survive and thrive, business leaders must discover the formula for sustainable excellence...Those that shape their strategies to meet these conditions will deliver lasting value for investors as well as solutions to the biggest social and environmental challenges of the twenty-first century.” Cramer and Karabell list the 5 elements needed to achieve sustainable excellence, these include:
- Think big: create business strategies that meet global challenges
- Use sustainability to drive innovation
- Set the right incentives internally and externally
- Embrace the transparent world—and collaborate
- Make consumers your partners
Practicing sustainable excellence is an essential part of business today and will be increasingly important as the world continues to change. Among the issues Cramer and Karabell can speak to are:
- Why sustainability is a critical strategic issue for business.
- Examples of companies who are leading the way in sustainable excellence and the 10 companies that will shape the world in 2020
- How consumers can tell whether companies are serious about sustainability.
- Examples of innovative responses, by companies, to environmental and global issues.
SUSTAINABLE EXCELLENCE is a pioneering work that speaks to one of the biggest concerns we face in the global economy and as a society—how can we integrate environmentally & socially responsible practices with the aims of big business? Cramer and Karabell’s book make a solid case for the fact that achieving this is not only possible, but necessary.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
Aron Cramer has been the president and CEO of Business for Social Responsibility since 2004. Since he assumed the helm, the organization has more than doubled in size, with seven offices in the United States, Europe, and Asia. He lives in the San Francisco area.
Zachary Karabell received his PhD from Harvard University. He is the author of ten critically acclaimed books, a money manager, and a CNBC contributor. He lives in New York City.
Reviews and Press
“For a long time when the term "sustainability" was mentioned in connection with business...”
Gael O'Brien, business-ethics.com
“Aron Cramer on the New Push for 'Sustainable Excellence'”
Joel Makower, GreenBiz.com
Sustainable Excellence: Is it enough?
“Aron Cramer and Zachary Karabell saved the best for the last. The penultimate chapter of this book is called "Ten companies that will shape the world in 2020.”
Elaine Cohen, CSRwire: Sustainable Excellence: The Future of Business in a Fast-Changing World
“The notion of "corporate social responsibility" has long faced criticism for reasons that seem almost contradictory. To the critics, the idea that businesses could care about anything besides maximizing profits is either too naïve or too cynical.”
VISHESH KUMAR, AOL Daily Finance: The Case for Sustainable Business as Good Business
“Companies striving to create sustainability within their own firms must now also consider how their practices affect the world around them.”
Sustainable Excellence: PW Talks to Aron Cramer and Zachary Karabell
“Essential reading for any business aiming to understand how they can turn sustainability into opportunity.”
Chris Anderson, editor-in-chief of Wired magazine and author of The Long Tail and Free
“Sustainable Excellence provides an insightful window into the intersection of business and environment. Companies that take to heart the lessons Aron Cramer and Zachary Karabell provide will be well positioned as natural resource constraints reshape the business landscape.”
--Mark Tercek, president and CEO of the Nature Conservancy
“What does it take to sustain excellence in a world where nothing seems to last? Aron Cramer and Zachary Karabell have gone inside some of the world’s most forward-looking companies to answer this crucial question. They understand the extraordinary global changes now under way, and their sharp, well-written story offers an essential road map for those working hard to survive and thrive in an ultra-competitive and fast-changing world. Read this book.”
-- Ian Bremmer, president of Eurasia Group and author of The End of the Free Market