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The Next Sustainability Wave (PDF)
Building Boardroom Buy-in
The idea of sustainability has been embraced enthusiastically by some businesses and rejected by others. The first wave of corporate converts to sustainability was driven by a PR crisis perhaps, regulatory pressures, or the founder's personal passion. The next wave, however, requires different drivers if it is to build a critical mass for corporate responsibility in the business community.
The Next Sustainability Wave assesses why companies have resisted sustainability strategies and focuses on two emerging drivers that promise to spur corporate commitment to sustainability strategies:
- a compelling business case, and
- a "perfect storm" of threatening market forces on the horizon that range from climate change to the rising demands of stakeholders.
An effective carrot-and-stick duo, these two drivers are both triggering the need for change and providing a vision of business success if the transition to sustainable operations, products, and services is smartly managed.
Emphasizing the importance of how sustainability is presented to corporate leaders-using the right language, and avoiding threats to the status quo that provoke habitual corporate defense mechanisms-the book applies effective selling techniques to reposition sustainability strategies as a means to achieving existing corporate ends, rather than as a separate priority to worry about. It sells sustainability as a solution, a business strategy, and a catalyst for business transformation. An appendix gives a version of the sustainability business case for Small-to-Medium-level Enterprises.
Designed for quick reading and reference-right pages furthering the argument, while left pages provide support materials-the book is especially useful for those wanting to convince busy executives and board members.
Bob Willard gave up an award-winning, successful career in senior management at IBM to devote himself full-time to building corporate commitment to sustainability. Widely in demand as a speaker, he has delivered hundreds of presentations demonstrating the business case for sustainability to companies, consultants, academics and NGOs world-wide. Bob is the author of The New Sustainability Advantage, The Sustainability Champion's Guidebook, and The Next Sustainability Wave. He was appointed an inaugural member of the Sustainability Hall of Fame by the International Society of Sustainability Professionals.