October 12, 2010
Today’s business landscape is changing in fundamental ways: Natural resources are growing ever more scarce and expensive. Technology and changing consumer expectations are making transparency a fact of life. The rise of emerging economies creates vast market opportunities for companies – and better living standards for hundreds of millions. In Sustainable Excellence, Aron Cramer and Zachary Karabell tell the stories of the companies that are transforming themselves by responding to these paradigm shifts and in the process shaping the future.
From their work with Global 1000 companies, Cramer and Karabell know firsthand how business can successfully grapple with big-picture issues like resource scarcity, supply chain complexities, and the diverse expectations of government and the public. In Sustainable Excellence, they tell the story of how Coca-Cola and Greenpeace collaborated on a refrigerator that fights climate change. They show how companies like Best Buy and Nike are transforming the products they sell to deliver more value to customers with less waste. They recount how GE and Google created an innovative partnership to develop “smart grids” that radically reduce energy use. And they show how business leaders such as Starbucks founder and CEO Howard Schultz put sustainable excellence at the center of their companies’ business strategies.
Through these and other fascinating stories, Sustainable Excellence makes the case for a different way of doing business – one that will define both business success and economic vitality in the 21st century.
Aron Cramer has been the president and CEO of Business for Social Responsibility since 2004. Since he assumed the helm, the organization has more than doubled in size, with seven offices in the United States, Europe, and Asia. He lives in the San Francisco area.
Zachary Karabell received his PhD from Harvard University. He is the author of ten critically acclaimed books, a money manager, and a CNBC contributor. He lives in New York City.