Green to Gold is written for executives at every level and for businesses of all kinds and sizes. Esty and Winston guide leaders through a complex new world of resource shortfalls, regulatory restrictions, and growing pressure from customers and other stakeholders to strive for sustainability. With a sharp focus on execution, Esty and Winston offer a hard-hitting yet inspiring road map that companies can use to cope with environmental pressures and responsibilities while sparking innovation that will drive long-term growth.
Green to Gold is the new template for global CEOs who want to be good stewards of the Earth while simultaneously building the bottom line.
©2009 Daniel C. Esty & Andrew S. Winston; (P)2009 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
"Green to Gold provides the definitive thinking on how business leaders can address environmental issues in the new economy, a world where companies win by integrating company strategies with social challenges, rather than treating economics and social as separate and different." (Michael E. Porter, Professor, Harvard Business School)
This book is essentially written to convince "single bottom line" companies, especially multinationals, that they can reduce their environmental footprint and still make a profit. In fact, the premise of the book is that, in the future, this is the *only* way they will make a profit. Though I agree with this premise, I think the end result of this book is that it paints too bright of a picture of multinational companies by only looking at one aspect of them and it does so in an unnecessarily verbose way.
For example, the book talks about some good work McDonalds has done to reduce its environmental footprting. Yet the authors completely ignore that the entire business model of McDonalds -- to create cheap, unhealthy food which exploits the externalization of the true cost of fossil fuels via Big Ag and Big Oil and promotes a car-centric urban design all while destroying local restaurants -- is problematic. After touting systems-level consideration of environmental issues, which indeed is critical, the authors violate this very premise and only look at one aspect of a company while ignoring all the other aspects. Another example company that the author's literally paint a halo on is BP. They talk about how BP is spending all this money on renewables yet mostly ignore that it is less than 1% of their total expenses. Sure, it's better than nothing, but I don't think we should be holding companies like BP up as the standard (or "green waveriders", as the author's call them). That's like rewarding people for not stealing.
The book is very repetitive and hence long and somewhat dry. I feel like the same info could be said in half the length. Finally, the book seems a bit outdated since a lot has happened since it was written: financial crash, BP oil spill in the Gulf, proliferation of hybrids, etc.
All this being said, if part of your job is making a large company more sustainable, this is worth reading. There are some good tools and ideas in here, especially if you will be having to speak to execs who primarily care about profit. Also check out Senge's "The Necessary Revolution", though I find them both quite overlapping.
The perfect candidate for this book is the leader that wants to sell the idea of going green.
It reads like an advertisement for the need for business leaders to go green, giving plenty of examples of companies that did it. It's not a manual to profit from the green wave, but more of an exhortation to join it, and explaining how to do it right. The "green to gold" postulate is that "if other companies went green and kept making money, so can you". I don't know how they manage to fill 9 hours of content in this.
The narrator is good and so is the recording quality. His emotion is a little too enthusiastic and upbeat at times. I think a more serious narrator would make this easier to listen.
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