As a consumer, a company’s sustainability record is important to me. However, business owners also need to heed the importance of sustainability. In his newest book, "Creating a Sustainable Organization: Approaches for Enhancing Corporate Value Through Sustainability," author Peter A. Soyka makes the business case for sustainability. Going green, if done the right way, can actually boost a company’s bottom line.
Soyka starts his book with a chapter dedicated to background and context — defining sustainability, examining green business trends, explaining environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues and more. Soyka’s comprehensive coverage of sustainability and ESG in this chapter not only sets the tone for the rest of the book but it allows even the most novice business professional to get comfortable with the subject matter.
Other topics covered in the book include overcoming barriers to corporate sustainability, performance and reporting issues, connecting environmental, health and safety (EHS) professionals with the financial community — and my personal favorite, the social license to operate.
Chapter four is titled Stakeholder Interests and Influences and the Social License to Operate. In the chapter, Soyka examines the history of the environmental movement, the emergence of environmental justice and how a company’s relationship with its community is an integral part of doing business in today’s information-rich society.
With the dawn of the Internet age, information about a company’s environmental and social responsibility records has become relatively easy to find. This means that now, more than ever, company executives need to focus on all stakeholder groups. Stakeholder groups include company employees, customers, suppliers, regulators, members of the media and the community.
As I continued to read the book, I found myself nodding in agreement and wishing that more company executives embraced Soyka’s mindset.
Soyka ends the book by saying, “My greatest hope is that the information and ideas presented here will be of value to those who are dedicated to making their companies and communities as broadly successful, productive, and sustainable as possible.”
While I think the book is great for professionals, it would also be a solid addition to any college business program. I’d go so far as to say that every MBA student should take the time to read this book, whether or not it is required reading.
For more information about the author and his 25 years of green business experience, visit the Soyka & Company website.
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