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

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


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"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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780470590751
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 04/19/2011
Pages: 464
Product dimensions: 7.20(w) x 9.90(h) x 1.60(d)

About the Author

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 (, he’s advised CEOs across the world and designed strategies for 100+ companies in dozens of industries.

P. J. SIMMONS is Chairman of the Corporate Eco Forum (, a preeminent network of senior Global 500 executives focused on sharing best and “next” practices 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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Table of Contents

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xi

Part One Introduction 1

1 Why Every Business Needs an Eco-Strategy 3

2 How to Use This Book 17

Part Two Gear Up: What Leaders Need to Know 21

3 Building a Winning Eco-Advantage Strategy: Top 10 Action Items 23

4 Making the Internal Business Case for Going Greener 36

Part Three Analyze: Identify Your Eco-Risks and Opportunities 59

5 Spot the Eco-Issues that Could Impact Your Bottom Line 63

6 Assess and Measure Your Environmental Impacts 81

7 Benchmark Your Performance against Competitors and Best Practices 110

Part Four Strategize: How Each Business Function Can Benefit and Contribute 123

8 Office Activities 125

9 Buildings and Facilities 143

10 Information Technology 169

11 Product Design 190

12 Sourcing and Procurement 205

13 Manufacturing and Processing 221

14 Logistics and Transport 245

15 Marketing and Sales 268

16 Legal and Regulatory Affairs 287

17 Accounting and Finance 297

Part Five Mobilize: Execute and Engage 313

18 Create an Action Plan—and Execute 315

19 Build Your Climate Change Plan 328

20 Mobilize Employees and Build an Eco-Advantage Culture 340

21 Engaging Stakeholders 358

Part Six Optimize: Evaluate, Report, and Reassess 373

22 Communicate and Report Results 375

23 Celebrate Success and Promote Continuous Improvement 388

Notes 393

Index 429

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

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

Customer Reviews