Books - Regarding
Environmental Sustainability & Social Performance In
Below is a select list of books that not only
imbibe the spirit of Investing for the Soul, but also are highly
informative and inspirational. The titles are linked to booksellers
(mostly Amazon.com) where they may be purchased. Investing for the Soul
receives commissions on some book sales.
Grow the Pie: How Great Companies Deliver Both Purpose
and Profit. by Alex Edmans, Cambridge University
Press 2020. "I do not know whether capitalism is in
crisis. But I do know Alex Edmans' superb book makes the
case, compellingly and comprehensively, for a radical
rethink of how companies operate and indeed why they
exist. It is the definitive account of the analytical
case for responsible business, but is at the same time
practical and grounded in real business experience. It
is a tour de force.'"—Andy Haldane, Chief
Economist, Bank of England.
Profitable Conservation: Business Strategies that Boost
Your Bottom Line, Protect Wildlife, and Conserve
Biodiversity, by Mark Aspelin, Gypsy Road Publishing
"The diversity of nature, perfected over
millions of years, provide many secrets that can be of
great benefit to humans. If we lose biodiversity, we
lose that potential. In a world of population increase,
habitat destruction, and especially industrialized
agriculture, biodiversity is the victim. Mark Aspelin’s
excellent presentation provides ideas about how business
and biodiversity can go hand in hand."—Dr. George
Archibald, Co-Founder and Senior Conservationist at The
International Crane Foundation.
Main Topics on Corporate Social Responsibility, by Jorge Emilio
Sierra Montoya, Universidad Simon Bolivar, Barranquilla, Colombia, 2016.
"Most of these articles were published in different national and
international communications media, such as the prestigious RS Magazine
of the International Center for Social Responsibility and
Sustainability, in Colombia; the monthly bulletin of the World
Confederation of Businesses (headquartered in Houston, United States),
that is distributed in more than seventy countries."—Jorge Emilio
Metrics for Sustainable Business: Measures and Standards for the
Assessment of Organizations, by Scott R. Herriott, Routledge 2016.
"Metrics for Sustainable Business is the first book to provide a
comprehensive overview and comparison of the frameworks companies can
use for reporting on environmental and social issues. It includes a
valuable discussion about the use of indicators to measure
sustainability performance and offers technical details on the
accounting for greenhouse gas emissions, water, and waste."—Kenton
D. Swift, University of Montana.
Sustainable Frontiers: Unlocking Change through Business, Leadership and
Innovation, by Wayne Visser, Greenleaf 2015.
"Combines the latest developments with scholarly and wide-ranging
business examples"—Laura J. Spence, Professor of Business Ethics,
Royal Holloway University of London.
The Greening of Asia: The Business Case for Solving Asia’s Environmental
Emergency, by Mark L. Clifford, Columbia University Press, 2015.
"In this well-researched and ultimately optimistic account, Clifford
makes the case that environmental policies ’can and must be fixed’ and
gives us examples of companies that have worked to find private-sector
solutions. In doing so, Clifford sheds much-needed light on the workings
and future of the region’s efforts on the environment, and on the need
for governments to set clear rules so that business can do its part to
solve the region’s environmental crisis."—Joseph E. Stiglitz, 2001
Nobel Laureate in Economics.
Reframing the Game: The Transition to a New Sustainable Economy, by
Mike Townsend, Greenleaf 2015.
"This Special Issue of Building Sustainable Legacies brings together
key voices in business and academia that show us how to accelerate
towards this tipping point by exploring the role that business in
society, responsible education, leadership techniques and legal reform
will have in shaping the new sustainable economy."—Book
The Business of Doing Good: Insights from One Organisation’s Journey to
Deliver on Good Intentions, by Anton Simanowitz and Katherine Knotts,
Practical Action Publishing, January 2015.
"A lucid and thought-provoking account of how things actually work in
the field, based on the history and experience of AMK in Cambodia. It
should become a well-thumbed staple for many of us working in social
investment generally and microfinance especially.”—David Woods,
Managing Director, Oikocredit International.
Competing for a Sustainable World: Building Capacity for Sustainable
Innovation, by Sanjay Sharma, Greenleaf 2014.
"[This book] summarizes a lifetime of experience and perspective by
the author that others in this emerging field will find very useful and
The Breakthrough Challenge: 10 Ways to Connect Today’s Profits With
Tomorrow’s Bottom Line, by John Elkington and Jochen Zeitz, Jossey-Bass
"John Elkington and Jochen Zeitz argue in this lucid, compelling,
forward-thinking book that humanity′s collective self-interest will be
best served by enlightened business leaders. As practical as it is
inspiring, this case for doing well by doing the right thing should be
required reading for anyone seeking to build a truly successful 21st
century business.”—Jeff Skoll, first president, eBay, and founder
and chairman, the Skoll Foundation, Participant Media, and the Skoll
Global Threats Fund.
The Evolution of a Corporate Idealist: When Girl Meets Oil, by
Christine Bader, Bibliomotion March 2014.
"Thought-provoking...a good primer on the C.S.R.
phenomenon...effortlessly gulped during a long airplane flight. The
writing is clear and concise, and if the book doesn′t leave one
convinced that every multinational has suddenly developed a guiding
conscience, it does offer some encouragement that many are on the way."—Bryan
Burrough, The New York Times.
Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business, by
John Mackey and Rajendra Sisodia, Harvard Business Review Press 2013.
“Conscious Capitalism is a wonderful book, full of fiery passion and
incisive insights. So buy it. Read it. Implement it. It′s a true guide
The Business Case for Sustainable Finance, by Iveta Cherneva,
"Highly recommended. The book provides a truly global picture, drawing
on the expertise of the foremost voices in the sustainable finance
space."—Dr. James Gifford, Executive Director, United Nations
Principles for Responsible Investment.
Screw Business as Usual, by Richard Branson, Portfolio Hardcover
"Doing the right thing can be profitable. I will show how this works
step by step in the following pages. It’s the core message of this book.
I often say, ’Have fun and the money will come.’ I still believe that,
but now I am saying, ’Do good, have fun and the money will come.’"—Richard
The Politics of Corporate Social Responsibility: The Rise of a Global
Business Norm, by Ursula Muhle, Campus Verlag 2011.
"The Politics of Corporate Social Responsibility provides a stepping
stone for future research regarding the evolving corporate social
responsibility of business as an auspicious new direction."—Selena
Lucien, CSR International
Force of Nature: The Unlikely Story of Wal-Mart’s Green Revolution,
by Edward Humes, HarperBusiness 2011.
"Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Humes (Eco Barons) offers a
stirring story of how ecologically responsible practices are
increasingly benefiting the bottom line, and how as Wal-Mart goes global
(and tries to lure back the more green-conscious consumer decamping for
Target), the biggest retailer in the world is, slowly but surely,
encouraging a change for the better. A fascinating, fair-minded look at
the congruence between environmentalism and business, and the behemoth
at the intersection."—Publishers Weekly.
Climate Capitalism: Capitalism in the Age of Climate Change, by L.
Hunter Lovins and Boyd Cohen, Hill and Wang 2011.
"If you wonder whether there is any hope of humankind′s dealing
successfully with climate change, read this book. It is a virtual
compendium of what is going on already from which to draw hope and, more
important, inspiration.”—Ray Anderson, chairman and founder,
Valuing Corporate Responsibility: How Do Investors Really Use Corporate
Responsibility Information? By Rory Sullivan, Greenleaf Publishing
"This book exposes the chasm in understanding that currently
separates companies and investors on the critical issue of corporate
responsibility. It explains why a dialogue of the deaf has continued for
so long, and also provides wise guidance based on practical experience
on how to bridge the divide. Importantly, it also points the way to a
new relationship between company management and their shareholders based
not on better corporate reporting but on actual improvements in social
and environmental performance."—Nick Robins, Head, HSBC Climate
Change Centre of Excellence.
International Corporate Social Responsibility: The Role of Corporations
in the Economic Order of the 21st Century, by Ramon Mullerat, Kluwer
Law International 2010.
"Corporations and law firms want to keep up-to-date with the wide range
of initiatives and codes of practice on CSR, and with policies being
used by other companies. The book is divided into four sections."—Book
Social Responsibility: Failure Mode Effects and Analysis, by Holly
Allison Duckworth and Rosemond Anne Moore, CRC Press 2010.
"... this is the first book to focus on methods for assessing an
organizations process towards its social responsibility performance
through failure mode and risk assessment. The text defines social
responsibility, explains how the new ISO 26000 standard will affect the
market place, and provides practical problem solving methods that can be
put to use immediately in any organization to improve overall social
Sustainability Strategies: When does it pay to be green? by Renato
J. Orsato, Palgrave Macmillan 2009
"’Very useful for managers and investors looking to prioritise
environmental projects based on solid management principles.’—Ethical
Looking Beyond Profit (Corporate Social Responsibility), by Peggy
Chiu, Ashgate 2009.
"’Looking Beyond Profit’ is an essential book, not just for
encouraging investment managers to look more closely at their
environmental impacts, but for ethical finance advisers and all
concerned with corporate governance, either as practitioners,
researchers, business educators or students."—Book description.
Corporate Social Responsibility – A Legal Analysis, by Michael Kerr,
Richard Janda, & Chip Pitts, LexisNexis Canada 2009.
"... is the first comprehensive legal text on global CSR. It examines
the hard and soft laws that ground CSR to show that responsible
corporate behaviour has become a matter of important legal concern for
virtually every corporation."—Book description.
Green to Gold: How Smart Companies Use Environmental Strategy to
Innovate, Create Value, and Build Competitive Advantage, by Daniel
Esty and Andrew Winston, Wiley (revised, updated edition) 2009.
"An excellent, updated primer that tracks the A to Z of getting a
grip on green as a business leader."—CNBC European Business.
Responsible Business: Self-Governance and Law in Transnational Economic
Transactions (Onati Internatonal Series in Law and Society), Olaf
Dilling (Editor), Martin Herberg (Editor), and Gerd Winter (Editor),
Hart Publishing 2008.
"The wealth of case studies and meticulous empirical evidence,
combined with high theory, make for a very plausible analysis of one of
the most significant trends in environmental and economic governance...a
worthwhile addition to nearly any environmental law library."—Benjamin
J Richardson Journal of Environmental Law Vol 21, No 1, 2009.
The Aspen Institute Guide to Socially Responsible MBA Programs
2008-2009, by The Aspen Institute 2008.
"The Aspen Institute, a premier non-profit, research organization for
corporate social responsibility, offers the first comprehensive guide to
the world’s leading global MBA programs in CSR--an indispensable guide
for prospective students, universities, hiring companies, and
Creative Capitalism: A Conversation with Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and
Other Economic Leaders, by Conor Clarke (Contributor), Michael
Kinsley (Editor), Simon & Schuster 2008.
"... at the 2008 annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos,
Switzerland, [Bill] Gates advocated a creative capitalism in which big
corporations, the distinguishing feature of the modern global economy,
integrate doing good into their way of doing business... This
controversial new idea is discussed and debated by the more than forty
contributors to this book."—Book description.
Guidance on Corporate Responsibility Indicators in Annual Reports,
by United Nations 2008.
"This publication is a voluntary technical aid for enterprises,
investors, regulators, and others. It is aimed to assist preparers of
enterprise reporting in producing concise and comparable corporate
responsibility indicators within their annual financial reports."—Book description.
The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest
Problems, by Van Jones and Ariane Conrad, HarperOne 2008.
"This book illustrates the link between the struggle to restore the
environment and the need to revive the US economy. Van Jones
demonstrates conclusively that the best solutions for the survivability
of our planet are also the best solutions for everyday Americans."—Al
Gore, former U.S. Vice-President. Now Chairman of Generation Investment
Strategies for the Green Economy: Opportunities and Challenges in the
New World of Business, Joel Makower, McGraw-Hill 2008.
"Joel Makower provides a roadmap--a clear and compelling vision of
what’s possible when companies harness environmental thinking to create
value for their shareholders, employees, customers, and communities."—Gary
Hirshberg, chairman and president of Stonyfield Farm.
Positively Responsible: How Business Can Save the Planet, by Erik
Bichard and Cary L. Cooper, Butterworth-Heinemann 2008.
"At last - a book about ’business and sustainability’ that treats
business as an integral part of society (not some disconnected alien
force) and business people as real people with real feelings, doubts and
contradictions. That makes Positively Responsible a much more satisfying
and illuminating read."—Jonathan Porritt, Forum for the Future.
Corporate Responses to Climate Change: Achieving Emissions Reductions
Through Regulation, Self-Regulation and Economic Incentives, by Rory
Sullivan, Greenleaf Publishing 2008.
"This book is particularly important since it addresses the corporate
sector, a major stakeholder in tackling the challenge of climate change.
Indeed, it is largely through market-based responses that new
technologies will be developed and their dissemination would take place
to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases. The book appropriately
addresses issues of public policy and their nexus with corporate
responses, which makes this a useful volume not only for corporate
leaders but policy-makers as well."—Dr Rajendra K. Pachauri,
Chairman, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), co-winner of
the Nobel Peace Prize and Director-General, TERI, India
Vault Guide to Green Programs, by Won Kim, Vault, Inc. 2008.
"This guide presents accurate information about how North American
companies are incorporating environmental concerns into their business
and career practices. The guide is especially relevant to undergraduate
and graduate students, as well as entry-level and mid-career employees,
who are considering environmentally friendly companies. The guide can
also be used by companies for research purposes, benchmarking their
current programs or even motivation to create such programs."—Book
No Small Change: Pension Funds and Corporate Engagement, by Tessa
Hebb, Cornell University Press 2008.
"Tessa Hebb examines the ability of pension funds, now the largest
single driver of financial markets around the world, to use their
ownership position to change corporate practices for the sake of the
bottom line and, perhaps, change the world for the better in the
The Difference Makers: How Social and Institutional Entrepreneurs
Created the Corporate R Movement,
by Sandra Waddock, Greenleaf Publishing 2008.
"The Difference Makers is a history and detailed analysis of how
corporate responsibility has emerged as a key political, social, and
business issue, why it has evolved so quickly, and what the visions of
its thought leaders are for the future. It will be essential reading for
academics, business people and all those who are interested in the
future of the corporation."—Book
The Oxford Handbook of Corporate Social Responsibility, by Andrew
Crane, Abagail McWilliams, Dirk Matten, Jeremy Moon, Donald S. Siegel,
Oxford University Press 2008.
"[The} issues [of corporate social responsibility] encompass broad
questions about the changing relationship between business, society and
government, environmental issues, corporate governance, the social and
ethical dimensions of management, globalization, stakeholder debates,
shareholder and consumer activism, changing political systems and
values, and the ways in which corporations can respond to new social
imperatives... This Oxford Handbook is an authoritative review of the
academic research that has both prompted, and responded to, these
issues. Bringing together leading experts in the area, it provides clear
thinking and new perspectives on CSR and the debates around it."—Book description.
Sustainable Value: How the World’s Leading Companies Are Doing Well by
Doing Good, by Chris Laszlo, Stanford Business Books 2008.
"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.
When Principles Pay: Corporate Social Responsibility and the Bottom
Line, by Geoffrey Heal, Columbia University Press 2008.
"A balanced and optimistic account of how companies can benefit from the
Corporate Social Responsibility movement. Geoffrey Heal makes a
persuasive argument that doing the right thing can also boost the bottom
line."—Joseph E. Stiglitz, Nobel Laureate in economics.
The A to Z of Corporate Social Responsibility: A Complete Reference
Guide to Concepts, Codes and Organisations, Wayne Visser (Author),
Dirk Matten (Author), Manfred Pohl (Author), Nick Tolhurst (Author),
Katja B?hmer (Editor), Aron Ghebremariam (Editor), Judith Hennigfeld
(Editor), and Sandra S. Huble (Editor). Wiley 2008
"A complete reference guide...offers an invaluable combination of
lessons learned and best practice for the future...provides first-hand
insights"—Forum CSR International, October 2008.
Making Sustainability Work: Best Practices in Managing and Measuring
Corporate Social, Environmental and Economic Impacts, by Marc J
Epstein, Berrett-Koehler Publishers 2008.
"Moves CSR from the theoretical to the practical, offering real-life
tools, processes, and metrics for creating a true corporate framework
for sustainability."—Brad Shaw, Senior Vice President, The Home
Ethical Markets: Growing the Green Economy, by Hazel Henderson,
Chelsea Green Publishing Company 2007.
"Hazel Henderson uses her flawless systemic analysis, great
eloquence, and her unique gift for provocative, yet disarming aphorisms
to show us not only that the transition to a sustainable future is
possible with existing technologies and conceptual models, but also that
it is already well on its way."—Fritjof Capra, author, The Web of
Life and The Hidden Connections.
Megatrends 2010: The Rise of Conscious Capitalism, by Patricia
Aburdene, Hampton Roads Publishing 2007.
"The Megatrends books have become a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy:
they not only identify significant trends, but also spur them."—Social
The Civil Corporation, by Simon Zadek, Earthscan Revised 2007.
"The Civil Corporation breaks new and critical ground on the impact
of the business and society debate on the dynamics of business strategy.
I single it out as a must read for all scholars and practitioners who
study and manage businesses that seriously aim at blending societal and
economic welfare in their decisions and actions.’— Maurizio Zollo,
Shell Fellow in Business and the Environment, and Associate Professor of
When the Rivers Run Dry: Water--The Defining Crisis of the Twenty-first
Century, by Fred Pearce, Beacon Press 2007.
"Veteran science writer Pearce (Turning Up the Heat) makes a
strong—and scary—case that a worldwide water shortage is the most
fearful looming environmental crisis. With a drumbeat of facts both
horrific (thousands of wells in India and Bangladesh are poisoned by
fluoride and arsenic) and fascinating (it takes 20 tons of water to make
one pound of coffee), the former New Scientist news editor documents a
"kind of cataclysm" already affecting many of the world’s great rivers."—Publishers Weekly.
The Virtuous Consumer: Your Essential Shopping Guide for a Better,
Kinder, Healthier World, by Leslie Garrett, New World Library 2007.
"The Virtuous Consumer is your key to shopping consciously and creating
a simpler, greener lifestyle."—Book description.
The Debate over Corporate Social Responsibility, by Steven K. May
(Editor), George Cheney (Editor), and Juliet Roper (Editor), Oxford
University Press, USA, 2007.
"Should business strive to be socially responsible, and if so, how?
The Debate over Corporate Social Responsibility updates and broadens the
discussion of these questions by bringing together in one volume a
variety of practical and theoretical perspectives on corporate social
50 reasons to buy Fairtrade, by
Miles Litvinoff and John Madeley, Pluto Press 2007.
"This book provides a critical guide to international trade and shows
that fair trade presents a realistic and positive alternative for
farmers and producers in developing countries."—Book
An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It, by Al Gore (former US presidential
candidate), Bloomsbury Publishing PLC 2006.
"Our climate crisis may at times appear to be happening slowly, but in
fact it is happening very quickly-and has become a true planetary
The High-Purpose Company: The TRULY Responsible (and Highly Profitable)
Firms That Are Changing Business Now, by Christine Arena,
"Kudos to Christine Arena for daring to challenge sound-bite
thinking! She asks important questions.”—Sue Mecklenburg, vice
president sustainable procurement practices, Starbucks Coffee Company.
The Market for Virtue: The Potential And Limits of Corporate Social
Responsibility, by David Vogel, Brookings Institution Press 2006
"Here is the definitive guide to what corporate social responsibility
can and cannot accomplish in a modern capitalist economy."—Robert B.
Reich, University Professor of social and economic policy, Brandeis
University, and former U.S. Secretary of Labor.
The Triple Bottom Line: How Today’s Best-Run Companies Are Achieving
Economic, Social and Environmental Success -- and How You Can Too,
by Andrew W. Savitz (Author) and Karl Weber (Contributor), Jossey-Bass
"Informative, persuasive, and practical, containing valuable advice
for anyone seeking a more responsible and profitable approach to
business."—Steve Reinemund, chairman and chief executive officer,
Sustainable Protein Production and Consumption: Pigs or Peas? By
Harry Aiking and De Boer Joop, Springer
"This book deals with step wise changes -- called societal transitions
-- to make food production and consumption sustainable."—Excerpt from
Six arguments for a greener diet, by Michael F. Jacobson, Ph.D.,
and the Staff of the (US) Center for Science in the Public Interest
"... a meticulously researched examination of scientific studies that
finds that eating more plant foods and fewer fatty animal products can
lead to extra years of healthy living... that same diet also leads to
much less food poisoning, water pollution, air pollution, global
warming, and animal suffering."
Fast Food Nation, by Eric Schlosser, Harper Perennial 2005.
"H Schlosser’s incisive history of the development of American fast food
indicts the industry for some shocking crimes against humanity,
including systematically destroying the American diet and landscape, and
undermining our values and our economy."—Publishers Weekly.
The Ethical Consumer,
by Rob Harrison, Terry Newholm, Deirdre Shaw, Sage Publications Ltd.
"This book is not simply the best book on the remarkable phenomenon
of today’s ethical consumer. It is a gift of advice and insight, from
the people that know best, to the cause of tomorrow. Many of the writers
deserve the plaudits of being pioneers of a new consumer movement. These
are the issues of our time."—Ed Mayo, Chief Executive of the UK’s
National Consumer Council (NCC).
Capitalism As If The World Matters, by Jonathon Porritt, Earthscan
Publications Ltd. 2005.
"...how capitalism, and business, can provide a future of wealth, equity
and ecological integrity...Jonathon Porritt, Co-Founder of Forum for the
Future, is a leading influence on business and industry, the UK
Government′s foremost adviser on sustainable development."—Book description.
Investing in Corporate Social Responsibility: A Guide to Best Practice,
Business Planning & the UK’s Leading Companies, by John Hancock,
Kogan Page Business Books 2005.
"This book explains the issues and the benefits of corporate social
responsibility in the context of an analysis of the 300 quoted UK
companies currently listed on the prestigious FTSE4Good index."—Book description.
Corporations and the Public Interest: Guiding the Invisible Hand, by
Steven Lydenberg, Berrett-Koehler Publishers 2005.
Lyndenberg argues that, "Corporations not externalize costs onto
society; corporations not exhaust natural and societal resources that
could otherwise be used by future generations; and corporations not
divert their profits and assets for unproductive use, but invest them in
creating value for stockowners and other stakeholders."—CSRwire.
The Market For Virtue: The Potential And Limits Of Corporate Social Responsibility, by David Vogel, The Brookings Institution, 2005.
Shows how managers can meaningfully integrate corporate social
responsibility in their workplace.
The Natural Step Story: Seeding a Quiet Revolution, by Karl-Henrik Robèrt, New
Society Publishers 2002.
The author describes how he
came about The Natural Step environmental sustainability program and of
how he enlisted in it major corporations such as Home Depot, Interface
Dancing with the Tiger: Learning Sustainability Step by Natural Step, Brian Nattrass and Mary Altomare, New Society Publishers 2002.
These individuals are the pioneers of the ‘Natural Step,′ a framework of
environmental sustainability for business. This book shows how
businesses can employ it to their advantage.
Natural Capitalism, Creating the Next Industrial Revolution, by Paul Hawken. Back
Bay Books 2000.
A wonderful vision of how environmental
sustainability can be applied to businesses while helping them become