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Creating a Sustainable Organization: Approaches for Enhancing Corporate Value Through Sustainability (FT Press Operations Management) 1st Edition

15 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0132874403
ISBN-10: 0132874407
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Editorial Reviews


"The opportunities for adding value through sustainability are out there. Managers just need to choose the right strategies, and then manage and measure them effectively. This actionable guide aims to help do exactly that, with particular attention to stakeholder, investor and performance management issues." Ethical Corporation, December 2012

From the Back Cover

“With investors increasingly concerned about whether they have appropriately priced ESG-related fat tail risks in their portfolios, Peter’s book provides a timely explanation as to why financial markets care about how companies manage their material sustainability issues, set performance targets for them, and then embed ESG principles into their core business.”

Abyd Karmali, Managing Director and Global Head of Carbon Markets, Bank of America Merrill Lynch


“Soyka brings a fresh and grounded view of corporate sustainability that understands the critical need to bridge the environmental and financial worlds. He makes it clear that sustainability is multidisciplinary and that leadership companies align it with core business drivers and metrics. Creating a Sustainable Organization  is a valuable work that should be required for any professional seeking to align sustainability with business success.”

Joel Makower, Chairman and Executive Editor, GreenBiz Group; author, Strategies for the Green Economy


“In Creating a Sustainable Organization, Peter Soyka has woven together a wealth of personal experience, industry commentary, data, and academic analysis to present a compelling argument in favor of promoting corporate sustainability. But he doesn’t stop there–his primary accomplishment is in establishing a guide for present and future sustainability practitioners to pursue sustainability as an engine for value creation within their firms. Peter has given us insightful–and in some cases, uncomfortable–analysis. Those of us in the business of evaluating companies from the outside have as much to learn from Peter as those on the inside.”

Mark E. Bateman, President, Segue Point LLC; Director of Research, IW Financial

Sustainability and socially responsible investing (SRI) are each attracting growing attention from financial institutions, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), private investors, citizens, and policymakers. In Creating a Sustainable Organization, Peter A. Soyka links these trends, showing how to use organizational sustainability to drive greater value for shareholders and other corporate stakeholders.


Soyka employs the powerful construct of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ES&G) posture and performance, showing how it integrates environmental, health, safety, and social issues with governance. You’ll learn how ES&G compares with Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and the “triple bottom line,” and how and when to use it to improve (or evaluate) a company’s performance and investment potential.


Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) and sustainability professionals will gain a deeper understanding of how the financial community operates, what its members value, what motivates its behavior, and the basis of its growing interest in corporate sustainability. At the same time, investors and investment analysts will develop broader and deeper insight into how sustainability issues affect companies’ performance and prospects, and which sustainability practices create the foundation for long-term value creation.


Covers all this and more:

• How sustainability affects enterprise value: the latest data

• Barriers to corporate sustainability—and how they can be overcome

• The surprising ways key financial players are now promoting sustainability

• Responding to the growing diversity and sophistication of EHS stakeholders

• Managing sustainability more successfully throughout the organization

• Defining, measuring, and reporting on sustainability more effectively

• Tracking sustainability performance from the investor’s viewpoint

• Bridging the viewpoints of EHS and the financial/investment community

• Becoming a more effective and influential EHS/sustainability professional



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Product Details

  • Series: FT Press Operations Management
  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: FT Press; 1 edition (February 4, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0132874407
  • ISBN-13: 978-0132874403
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,578,440 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Peter A. Soyka is an experienced and accomplished sustainability and environmental management consultant and a recognized expert working at the intersection of environment/EHS and finance. He is the founder and President of Soyka & Company, LLC, a small consultancy focused on illuminating and resolving the issues limiting sustainable business success. He founded his firm in 2003, following a highly successful 17 year career, during which he served in executive positions in several national-scale environmental consulting/engineering firms.

With 25 years of environmental management experience, Peter has served a wide variety of corporate, public agency, and nonprofit clients focusing on improved, cost-effective environmental and sustainability performance. Much of his recent work has involved identifying and capturing the financial and other organizational benefits of proactive environmental management and sustainability practices. The diversity of Peter's work and clientele over the years provides him with informed perspective on the range of views held within the corporate/trade association, regulatory, and NGO communities. Accordingly, he has a good sense, from the "front lines," of what the important issues and challenges are, how they can be resolved or managed, what barriers may be encountered, and how they can effectively be overcome. During his career, Peter has successfully designed and executed hundreds of consulting projects, including a number devoted to driving sustainability thinking and practices into client organizations at a strategic level. He has developed a substantial number of new innovations for understanding and acting upon the organizational and financial aspects of corporate sustainability issues, and brings a substantial track record of innovative thinking and success in devising creative solutions to very challenging environmental/business management problems and translating new ideas into approaches, tools, and techniques that produce real results.

Peter resides in the metropolitan Washington, DC area with his wife and daughter and enjoys time spent with family and friends, outdoor recreation, and home improvement, among other activities.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A. Camarota on March 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover
It was with both delight and disappointment that I read "Creating a Sustainable Organization" by Peter Soyka. Mr Soyka has defined many of the current practices for sustainability management from a financial investor's perspective. Included in his text is the latest information about what he terms environmental, safety, and governance, or "ES&G," approaches to sustainability. This book provides an exhaustive overview of the issues facing organizations that wish to adopt a sustainability agenda, while at the same time giving the reader a glimpse into a key emerging area of sustainability management - the linkages between environmental and financial performance. Numerous important issues that sustainability professionals need to address are presented in great detail.

One of the most significant contribution this book makes to the sustainability literature is its emphasis on how financial investors gather, analyze, and apply ES&G information when making stock valuations and investment recommendations. This contribution is supported by a comprehensive review of current corporate ES&G reporting methods and approaches, and a summary of how leading investment firms are using ES&G data to prepare their sustainability indices. The text highlights many of the linkages between financial and ES&G performance, and states clearly the need for greater integration between the two. The book also provides a comprehensive list of the issues facing sustainability managers in a corporation, and includes many recommendations for filling the gaps between investor data and corporate ES&G performance reporting.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Redhawk VINE VOICE on March 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This books offers insight into what it takes to build an organization that will contribute fewer problems to future generations. The question of whether organizations can assist us in addressing the problem of sustainability is an interesting one. Organizations, if they are to remain viable in the future, will have to contribute solutions not simply problems. How the organizations will accomplish this rests in their ability to design the organization in a way that does not waste resources, or simply ignore how individuals are living their lives. This takes a great deal of effort and strain, but if it is accomplished the results will be to add tremendous value to the overall organization. The author of the book shows how this is in the self-interest of those running the organization. The book offers clear steps on how to better approximate a sustainable organization, realizing that it is a never ending process.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Douglas B. Johnson on March 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I like this book so much, I gave it away! Now, I need to buy another copy for myself and for others, too.

Peter Soyka's book is timely. As luck would have it, I am in early stages of collaboration to form another corporation. I need this book, and so do others on this team. Sharing some of the personal aspects of where I found value in the book may provide other readers with a reason to buy the book, too.

Soyka's book provides an eloquent description of people like me. I've long known that I pitched a tent in the camp of EHS and sustainability professionals, a group that Peter accurately points out, often lacks the communicative competencies necessary to effectively communicate with finance, accounting, investors, and others with a sharp eye on the drawbridge for the economy of business value. Indeed, my professional work, education and ethic are deeply invested in the ethos and principles of sustainability even before the word was coined. The Brundtland Commission's treatise on sustainable development served to define and provide focus on the general topic of sustainability, and fostered my introduction of the term, "socioecological responsibility" in 1992. This is the sort of thinking that had me marked as way out in left field and far, far away from the right-minded culture of the C-Suite.

Recognizing that I needed some practical basis to engage with business, I became a certified Lead Auditor of ISO 14001, ISO 50001 and other management systems and developed the skills necessary to address and advise on the effectiveness of organizational performance on EHS aspects of the enterprise.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ira Feldman on June 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Peter Soyka has given us an important contribution to the sustainability literature with his "Creating A Sustainable Organization." As he suggests early in his book, "a bridge must be built between the disparate worlds of the EHS/sustainability professional and the investor/analyst. So, if you are looking for a book chock full of anecdotes about companies successfully jumping on the "green business" bandwagon, this is NOT the book for you. See instead, Esty & Winston, or Werbach. If, however, you want to get ahead of the curve in understanding the evolution of environmental management and sustainable business practices, especially as increasingly influenced by the financial sector, then this is the book to turn to -- largely because Soyka is the first to explore this scope in a serious manner. He has correctly discerned that "both the EHS/sustainability and financial communities, each on their separate paths, are about to converge."

To be clear, Soyka is not inventing a new "paradigm busting" approach; instead, he is skillfully connecting the dots between "bodies of knowledge" that have been steadily developing over the last 12 - 15 years. Soyka is well suited to the task -- he has worked with organizations to enhance sustainability performance and he has worked with the financial sector to develop metrics and indicia that link environment and sustainability to positive investment returns.

It appears that other reviewers have misconstrued, at least in part, Soyka's intent here. This is unfortunate because he takes great pains in the opening chapters to clarify his game plan for the book, as well as disclose his biases. The result is an intelligent, even-handed articulation of key concepts, principles and lessons learned.
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