Daniel C. Esty, a professor at Yale University and Director of the Center for Business and the Environment at Yale, is a corporate environmental strategy specialist. With twenty years of experience, in the early 1990s Esty worked for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He is now a Chairman of the Esty Environmental Partners. Meanwhile, Andrew S. Winston is a world-renown environmental advisor. Previously working for Boston Consulting Group, Time Warner and MTV, Andrew Winston shares the advantages of green business with audience around the world as a professional speaker. Together, they researched on forward-looking organizations establishing eco-advantage and their successful strategies.
As world population increase, the need to manage resources becomes crucial for continuation of life. Although the earth’s carrying capacity is unknown, it is anticipated that non-renewable resources will soon be far-gone and renewable resources will ultimately be used up. Certain lifestyle adjustments could stave off the ominous peril. Not only that, companies that incorporate green strategies can also benefit from adopting green business model. In recent years, the number of Green Wave Riding corporations has been ever increasing. More and more companies realize that the environment has a critical role in providing natural capital, thus mismanaging it can lead to lost of value and brand reputation damage. Industries of today have changed their operations into more sustainable ways. Daniel C. Esty Andrew Winston brought up this issue in their book “Green to Gold” by interviewing business leaders around the world combined with their own experience in the industry. With concrete examples of large corporations like Johnson & Johnson, 3M, Shell, Toyota, and many more, the book is a treasure trove of principles and methods on how business executives can cope with environmental pressures, build good stewardship while generate lasting values for the bottom line.
Preparing for a New World
Consisting of 12 chapters, the book is divided into four sections. The authors began with a business thought through the environmental lens by taking Sony as a case model. A Japanese multinational corporation with business in electronics, computer, network, pictures, music, and online entertainment, Sony’s top executives faced a nightmare of Cadmium Crisis in 2001 (Esty & Winston, 2009, p. 1). The toxic element was discovered in legally unacceptable amount in game control cables. It had prevented 1.3 million boxes of PlayStation from getting out of the warehouse to enter Europe. Replacing the tainted cables and digging up the source of the problem cost the company more than $130 million. Four lessons can be learned from Sony’s falter: the fact that even the top companies can be startled by a small environmental problem, the environment is not a small matter, real benefits associated with sustainability efforts, and building competitive advantage through...