Building a Culture for Sustainability: People, Planet, and Profits in a New Green Economy

Building a Culture for Sustainability: People, Planet, and Profits in a New Green Economy

by Jeana Wirtenberg


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781440803765
Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date: 01/31/2014
Pages: 312
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.40(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Jeana Wirtenberg, PhD, is president and CEO, Transitioning to Green, and cofounder/senior advisor, Institute for Sustainable Enterprise, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Madison, NJ.

Table of Contents

Foreword Andrew Winston ix

Preface xiii

Acknowledgments xix

1 Building Bridges to a Sustainable Future: Understanding and Creating a Culture for Sustainability 1

2 Alcatel-Lucent: Transforming Communications for the Twenty-First Century 9

3 Alcoa: Connecting People to Communities 31

4 BASF: Creating Chemistry for a Sustainable Future 53

5 Bureau Veritas: Leading by Example 85

6 Church & Dwight: Product Stewardship for Sustainable Prosperity 105

7 Ingersoll Rand: Integrating Sustainability into the Heartbeat of the Company 129

8 Pfizer: Growing Leaders through the Global Health Fellows Program 157

9 Sanofi: Putting the Patient First 177

10 Wyndham Worldwide: Wyndham Green-One Goal. One Team. One Earth. 205

11 People, Planet, and Profits in a New Green Economy 241

Appendix: Best Practices for Building a Culture for Sustainability 269

Notes 277

Index 291

What People are Saying About This

Kristine Marin Kawamura

"Jeana Wirtenberg moves beyond single-focus studies of environmental sustainability to explore its human side, which is necessary for long-term success. By engaging employees, inspiring personal innovation, fueling care and commitment, creating leaderful environments, and cultivating sustainability-inspired habits, all organizational members may co-create sustainable mindsets, cultures, and results. The book masterfully integrates vision, passion, and reflection with well-documented case studies, personal interviews, and rigorous analysis while also providing practical guidance and a roadmap for change."

Jacquelyn A. Ottman

"A practical, well-written guide to building a corporate culture of sustainability, well-illustrated with in-depth case studies and the author's insights. Highly recommended!"

Scott G. McNall

"This is a must-read for any leader, citizen, student, or organization interested in how to create a culture of sustainability. Wirtenberg's story is a positive one and is one focused on solutions. Starting from the position that it is both necessary and feasible to find a way to ‘have enough, for all, forever,' Wirtenberg carefully demonstrates how and why this is possible, building her case around the practices of nine major corporations. Wirtenberg's effort will take its place alongside other classics of the sustainability and green-business movement. And it is an important book for all of those who care about our mutual future, our responsibilities toward one another, and how we can create a more just and sustainable future."

Susan E. Jackson

"Anyone who wants to create a sustainable organization—with a culture that's good for people, profits, and our planet—can learn from this insightful book. The challenges met and lessons learned at nine brand-name companies are memorably described, and a comprehensive framework for action shows readers how to stimulate meaningful change. It's a great read!"

Edgar H. Schein

"This book offers excellent examples of how organizations can make the commitment to sustainability congruent with the other economic drivers that often hold organizations captive."

Bob Willard

"Changing company culture is the biggest challenge for sustainability champions. Jeana Wirtenberg gleans best practices and lessons learned from case studies of nine leading companies' experiences to provide a buffet of proven approaches for hungry culture-change agents. Perfect. Now let's get on with it."

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Building a Culture for Sustainability: People, Planet, and Profits in a New Green Economy 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jeana Wirtenberg’s Building a Culture for Sustainability tackles the notion of sustainability at its source—at the level of culture.  How else to address those deeply held beliefs and assumptions that drive daily behavioral habits that more often than not are unconscious? Then and only then can companies begin to move towards the triple bottom line of “People, Planet and Profits” in an authentic green economy. Like a dedicated ethnographer, Wirtenberg  sits down to interview key sustainability drivers at nine companies.  By sifting through their “artifacts” she is able to showcase for the reader the values that underpin each company’s supply chains, operations, and products and services for their customers. Clearly, she brings a natural appreciation for the human side of sustainability and engages with the hearts and minds of her interviewees and their peers. And because of this empathic style, that people naturally share with her employee-driven initiatives that contribute meaning to their work live. One such initiative is Alcatel Lucent’s StrongHer, a bottom-up affinity group started by women for women that in a few years’ time has grown to a membership of 900 (16% men) with 1000 followers worldwide. She also identifies a source of pride for Church & Dwight employees in that their company and its legacy for being the inaugural sponsor of the first Earth Day in 1970.  This book is far too rich to do it justice in the space allotted, but I assure you there is so much more to be uncovered and for your efforts, you will be well-rewarded.  To get you started, here are a few “field” samples: (1) check out Alcoa’s Keystone Institute that trains teachers how to investigate current environmental issues with their students; (2) find out why  BASF’s Verbund is the key ingredient of every function of its operations; (3) check out Ingersoll Rand's OneSTEPForward and where it stands in the current marketers’ debate over customer pull vs. vendor push; (4) find out how and why Pfizer completely changed its philanthropy, replacing capital with human capital in the way of skill-based volunteerism; (5) seek out how Sanofi’s synergistic-collaborative approach to reducing health-care costs is reenergizing its employees; (6)  read about Wyndham’s all-inclusive “eco-learning culture,” in house as well as with its guests; and finally, (7) check out  Bureau Veritas and its participation in the UN-sponsored World Environment Day that is considered by BV employees as its best practice. Here’s the mother lode for your efforts: in the final chapter you will uncover “green” gold in the four tables provided by Wirtenberg that contextualize practices, both limitations and best practices. For example, a table is provided with specific categories and key stakeholders, along with her recommendations for sustainability-inspired habits necessary to bring real and deep change to the world. All in all, the tables are a valuable resource that can be referred to for years to come.