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Green to Gold: How Smart Companies Use Environmental Strategy to Innovate, Create Value, and Build Competitive Advantage Paperback – January 9, 2009


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Green to Gold: How Smart Companies Use Environmental Strategy to Innovate, Create Value, and Build Competitive Advantage + Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution + Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 408 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; Revised & Updated edition (January 9, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470393742
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470393741
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #122,843 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Two experts from Yale tackle the business wake-up-call du jour-environmental responsibility-from every angle in this thorough, earnest guidebook: pragmatically, passionately, financially and historically. Though "no company the authors know of is on a truly long-term sustainable course," Esty and Winston label the forward-thinking, green-friendly (or at least green-acquainted) companies WaveMakers and set out to assess honestly their path toward environmental responsibility, and its impact on a company's bottom line, customers, suppliers and reputation. Following the evolution of business attitudes toward environmental concerns, Esty and Winston offer a series of fascinating plays by corporations such as WalMart, GE and Chiquita (Banana), the bad guys who made good, and the good guys-watchdogs and industry associations, mostly-working behind the scenes. A vast number of topics huddle beneath the umbrella of threats to the earth, and many get a thorough analysis here: from global warming to electronic waste "take-back" legislation to subsidizing sustainable seafood. For the responsible business leader, this volume provides plenty of (organic) food for thought.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

"An excellent, updated primer that tracks the A to Z of getting a grip on green as a business leader." (CNBC European Business, April 2009)

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Customer Reviews

Green to Gold is a very thorough, well written book.
Kevin R. Seeker
I love Green to Gold because so many of the examples that Daniel Esty and Andrew Winston provide are a study in business strategy.
Susan L. Colantuono
This book is going on the "highly recommended" list for all staff in my company.
Frank J. Priznar

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

93 of 96 people found the following review helpful By Robert David STEELE Vivas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on March 14, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have read and praised Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution, The Ecology of Commerce and Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things here at Amazon, and I mention them to emphasize that this book, "Green to Gold," is the hands-down no-contest best primer for top management. The others are intellectual presentations. This is a business oriented primer with lots of facts, lists, and resources.

It is a pro-business book that focuses on opportunities. It is extremely well-organized, with three parts, twelve chapters, and three appendices including a superb list of active web sites relevant to doing well by doing good.

This book is based on hundreds of interviews over four years, and every aspect of it is professional presented, including boxes with "10 second overviews" interspersed throughout.

The authors are compellingly pointed in their discussion of how the environment, and attendant regulations and attendant risks of catastrophic costs, is no longer a fringe issue. Mistakes in cadmium content of connecting cables can cost hundreds of millions.
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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Alan Lekan on November 12, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is one of the better books on the New Green Wave of sustainability sweeping across the business world (2006). It is written by two Yale profs who take a much more objective view of the successess - and failures - of companies who have launched into major sustainability initiatives. As such, it is a more credible assessment of the real value of sustainable business practices. It is well written with many case examples, factoids and stimulating discussion - as well as many "tools" for any company to size up their path ahead.

Most books on the topic leave you with the idea that all is rosey and money when "doing the right thing" and developing more sustainable business practices. Not so here - you will find many examples of what HASN'T worked out according to expectations. Case-in-point Interface Floor Covering, a company whose case is in about every book on sustainability. Well, in their pursuit to reinvent the way carpeting is made and sold (many excellent eco-accomplishments), they totally musjudged the marketplace and assumed corporate customers would be happy to switch from buying carpeting (out of annual capital budget) to leasing it (out of monthly operating budgets). They ignored one of the great rules of "Green Marketing": Don't expect the customer to change behaviour to make green choices. So, this book brings these valuable lessons for all to learn and avoid repeating.

This is a great book for VP, CEO, COO levels as it highlights the business case in a clear and compelling way and shows how, really, the business case for sustainability has been largely proven. Green to Gold is a quality, believable business book that will help especially managerial staff understand this topic in biz terms most known to them.
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By A. Thomas on March 13, 2009
Format: Paperback
If you want to read this book for ways HOW to transform your company to become green, then I don't think this is the book you should get. Most of the book is about WHY we should go green. And we already know that going green is the way of the future, so I don't need a book to tell me that. Most of the illustrations are about the benefits companies obtained by going green. It does not show how they started or went about getting there, and that was the reason I bought the book, to see if I can find ways for my own company.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Y. Blumberg on September 26, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Green to Gold is a must-read for anyone who (a) holds a leadership position in business or is a business influencer, and (b) cares about the environment we live in. Its subtitle really best describes the book, which is probably the first (or if not, certainly the best) documentation of successful corporate environmentalstrategy on the market.

It's a little reminiscent to me of Collins Built to Last and Good to Great in that it is meticulously researched with a mix of company interviews/cooperation and empirical and investigative work. It doesn't have Collins "pairing" framework, but it doesn't need to in order to make its point.

If you liked Al Gore's movie, An Inconvenient Truth, this book will satisfy your thirst for information about what the heck the corporate world is doing or more important, can do, to do its part in not destroying our ecosystem. If you didn't like Gore's movie or didn't see it because you don't like Al Gore or don't think that many elements of the environmental movement are worthwhile, this book is an even more important read, as it brings the theoretical and scientific to the practical and treats sustainability as the corporate world must treat it in order to adopt it as a mainstream practice -- as a driver of capitalistic profit and competitive advantage.

This is a really important work in terms of advancing the cause of corporate social responsibility as it applies to the environment. Most important, it proves the axiom here that you can, in fact, Do Well by Doing Good.
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