Green Giants

Green Giants : How Smart Companies Turn Sustainability into Billion-Dollar Businesses

3.93 (89 ratings by Goodreads)
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What do Brazil's top beauty brand, America's second-fastest-growing restaurant chain, and the world's third bestselling car have in common--besides achieving enormous success with revenue in the tens of billions? They are doing it all while holding to their convictions of implementing sustainable principles that help consumers live better lives. But they aren't the only ones. Green Giants examines nine companies--including Chipotle, Toyota, Unilever, Tesla, General Electric, and more--who have established the blueprint for sustainable success that anyone can follow. Author Freya Williams, an early pioneer of the modern sustainable business movement, discovered six factors responsible for the overwhelming success of these nine socially responsible companies:* The Iconoclastic Leader* Disruptive Innovation* A Higher Purpose* Built In, Not Bolted On* Mainstream Appeal* A New Behavioral ContractPacked with eye-opening research, exclusive interviews, and enlightening examples, Green Giants serves as your blueprint for merging wild profitability with social responsibility.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 288 pages
  • 159 x 235 x 25mm | 562g
  • Amacom
  • Nashville, United States
  • English
  • Special ed
  • 0814436137
  • 9780814436134
  • 262,563

Flap copy

The words "sustainable" and "profitable" have long seemed at odds in the minds of business leaders. Crunchy granola ideals aren't sexy or lucrative...or so goes the old way of thinking, in which the idea of being environmentally or socially conscious was code for sacrificing profits. The surprising reality, though, is that today, businesses built around sustainability--such as Tesla, Unilever, and Chipotle (which is now bigger than Burger King)--are growing faster than their conventional counterparts, commanding wider profit margins and knocking stalwarts of the strip mall, and titans of industry off their long-held leadership perches.

How has this new breed of the forward-thinking, billion-dollar company overturned the prevailing wisdom to become wildly successful by any standard . . . and how can you apply those lessons to your own organization? Based on the author's unique first-hand experience of advising Fortune 500 companies including Coca-Cola, Unilever, and Kraft on their sustainable business strategies--and featuring exclusive interviews with C-Suite executives and proprietary research--Green Giants offers unprecedented insight, as well as a blueprint for success any organization can follow, on how to turn a strategy of sustainability into a billion-dollar business proposition.

Examining nine companies that are using sustainability and social responsibility as a springboard to wild profitability, the book reveals the six key factors responsible for their success, including:

- Iconoclastic Leadership--Most successful sustainable companies can trace their journeys back to one person, fueled by deep conviction and a rebellious streak, who started it all.

- Disruptive Innovation--The secret lies not in pursuing a more socially conscious version of an existing product . . . but in using sustainability to spur the development of radically better, category-disrupting products and services.

- A Higher Purpose--When the mission leads, profits follow. Learn to embrace the paradoxical wisdom that businesses ignited with a purpose beyond profit tend to outperform the competition.

- Mainstream Appeal--Win over a broader audience of mainstream consumers by showing them what's in it for them.

Chances are, your assumptions about how to build a successful, sustainable business are wrong. Revealing the essential strategies used by socially and environmentally conscious companies that have achieved astounding success, Green Giants shows you how to replicate the same techniques in your own organization . . . and start rolling in the green.

E. FREYA WILLIAMS has advised organizations as varied as Coca-Cola, Unilever, Waste Management, and the United Nations, on how to incorporate sustainability and social good into their businesses and brands. The co-founder of OgilvyEarth, she is now CEO of Futerra, North America, and also served as EVP of Business+Social Purpose at Edelman. Her expertise has been featured in Newsweek, The Financial Times, and on NPR. Follow Freya at: twitter @freya1
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Back cover copy

What do billion-dollar organizations like Tesla Motors, Trader Joe's, Chipotle, Toyota, Unilever, and General Electric have in common? They have all succeeded--amazingly--at building phenomenally successful businesses while selling products and services designed to help us live happier, healthier, more environmentally conscious lives.

Packed with eye-opening research, exclusive interviews, and enlightening examples from major organizations, Green Giants reveals how these and other well-known, incredibly successful companies have turned a strategy of sustainability and social good into a billion-dollar business proposition . . . and how you can, too. The book provides a blueprint for sustainable success, examining the six key factors green giant companies share that have directly contributed to their uncommon success.

Uncovering enticing stories of iconoclastic thinking, radical innovation, tenacious commitment, standout creativity, and explosive growth, the book reveals the harsh truth that corporate success can't be achieved on integrity, responsibility, and altruism alone. Packed with practical advice and hard-won wisdom, this book explains how to harness and replicate the proven methods currently fueling this dynamic and socially responsible business movement . . . and achieve incredible success for your own ecologically responsible organization.

Advance Praise for Green Giants

"Want to be part of the future of business? This book reveals the secrets of the next billion-dollar businesses, written by the person who helped some of the successes of the last few years get there."-- Hunter Lovins, President, Natural Capitalism Solutions; Professor of Business, Bard

"Green Giants is a testament to the potential for transforming societal need into strategic opportunity. This inspiring but realistic account is filled with real-life lessons for all who aspire to build a more sustainable economy."-- Lynn S. Paine, John G. McLean Professor of Business Administration and Senior Associate Dean, Harvard Business School

"The debate is over. Business can contribute to the greatest challenges facing society, and deliver profitable growth while doing so. Indeed, it must. This book provides important evidence that it can be done. It should be required reading for any business leader wishing to lead companies that will prosper for the long-term."-- Kees Kruythoff, President, Unilever North America

"Green Giants will become an instant 'must read' for all who feel that capitalism has to change. Freya Williams has written a superb book showcasing the critical shift for sustainability from a siloed, often protective practice, to core business strategy. This is the guide for tomorrow's new billion $ brands."-- Carol L. Cone, CEO, Carol Cone: On Purpose
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Table of contents


Introduction: Billion with a "B"

Chapter 1. The Iconoclastic Leader

Chapter 2. Disruptive Innovation

Chapter 3. A Higher Purpose

Chapter 4. Built In, Not Bolted On

Chapter 5. Mainstream Appeal

Chapter 6. A New Behavioral Contract


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Review quote

"The author mixes research, interviews and great examples with aplomb to create an interesting, thoughtful read that can act as a catalyst for change for probably almost any organisation." --Autamme "A densely referenced and immersive endorsement for the durability and humanitarianism of business ventures retrofitted for sustainability." --Kirkus Reviews "Along with facts and figures comes valuable, pragmatic guidance on how you can replicate the thriving victories of these companies in your own business." --Internal Auditing ..".a fascinating account, well-written, thoughtful, and loaded with rich anecdotes." --The Globe and Mail ..".making sustainability relevant to the mainstream...a very readable work on a subject that often receives a dull treatment." --The Irish Times ..".plenty of info here for entrepreneurs to sink their teeth into, such as the six factors that are key to combining sustainability and profitability." --GrowBizMedia
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About E. Freya Williams

E. FREYA WILLIAMS advises organizations, including Coca Cola, Kraft, SAP, and the UN, on how to incorporate sustainability and social good into their brands. The co-founder of OgilvyEarth, she is now CEO of Futerra, North America, and also served as EVP of Business+Social Purpose at Edelman. Her expertise has been featured in Newsweek, The Financial Times, and on NPR.
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Rating details

89 ratings
3.93 out of 5 stars
5 27% (24)
4 45% (40)
3 22% (20)
2 6% (5)
1 0% (0)
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