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Sustainable Value: How the World's Leading Companies Are Doing Well by Doing Good

Submitted by: Stanford University Press

Categories: Sustainability, Corporate Social Responsibility

Posted: Feb 26, 2008 – 07:00 AM EST


Feb. 26 /CSRwire/ - February 26, 2008, Palo Alto, CA

"The sooner companies apply the principles set out in this book the better placed they will be."
-Patrick J. Cescau, Group Chief Executive Officer, Unilever

"Read Sustainable Value, dispel the myth that environmental responsibility is expensive, and form a new vision of industry as part of the solution rather than a part of the problem; and more profitable at that, not less."-Ray Anderson, Founder and Chairman, Interface, Inc.

Global companies are reaffirming their commitment to sustainability at the core of their business strategies, while environmental and social stakeholders, formerly critical of business, are now actively seeking their collaboration.

Chris Laszlo argues in his latest book, Sustainable Value: How the World's Leading Companies Are Doing Well by Doing Good, that far from being a cost to society and business, sustainability is emerging as a huge opportunity for both. CEOs of some of the world's largest companies—General Electric, Toyota, and Wal-Mart, to name just a few-are motivated by the desire to gain competitive advantage in a business environment transformed by rising fuel prices, widespread concern over the impact of climate change, and heightened consumer awareness of health and environmental issues.

The book addresses such concerns and is aimed at skeptical managers and corporate executives. In Laszlo's view, companies that have been successful in making gains from what he terms Sustainable Value – value that is positive for shareholders and stakeholders – are going beyond regulatory compliance and energy conservation. They are differentiating their products by making them more accessible (or less toxic), finding new products that address environmental and social problems, and then driving the innovation into supply chains that are more "green" in both senses of the word.

Laszlo argues that it is crucial for companies to view the sustainable value approach as one that "aligns multiple stakeholders on the company’s business strategy, providing more robust results than sustainability efforts led by specialized departments working in silos with limited involvement of outside stakeholders." The book gives a detailed account of the real-life sustainability stories of DuPont, Wal-Mart, Lafarge, and Cargill's NatureWorks.

The first section of the book is a management fable about a young CEO's challenges in addressing her company's impact on society and the environment, while remaining profitable. Part II outlines the new competitive environment in which societal challenges are becoming huge business opportunities. Part III introduces the Sustainable Value tool-kit—a step-by-step approach to creating and managing value for stakeholders in a broad range of sectors in today's shifting competitive environment. It is based on the author's consulting engagements with Fortune 1000 companies.

"In the swelling sea of sustainability literature, Chris Laszlo's Sustainable Value offers an island of clarity and focus." — Stuart Hart, S.C. Johnson Chair in Sustainable Global Enterprise, Cornell University

Chris Laszlo is a Visiting Professor at Case Western University's Weatherhead School of Management. A co-founder of Sustainable Value Partners, LLC he has advised thousands of executives on sustainability for competitive advantage. More information on the book can be found at

Published by Stanford University Press and Greenleaf Publishing
February 2008

Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8047-5963-2
$35.00; 208 pages

For further information or to schedule an author interview, please contact Puja Sangar at (650) 724-4211 or by email at

To order the book in North America visit or call: 800-621-2736. Take advantage of Stanford University Press's 20% discount offer for Sustainable Value, by using the discount code: S8Laszlo. Offer expires 7/31/08.

Outside of North America visit:

For more information, please contact:

Phone: (650) 724-4211


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