A Primer on Sustainable Business
Copyright Year: 2012
Last Update: 2020
Conditions of Use
This text offers reader with a solid overview of sustainability issues across the various aspects of business. This allows discussion to be broad across functional areas and yet specific enough to allow students with interest in specific... read more
This text offers reader with a solid overview of sustainability issues across the various aspects of business. This allows discussion to be broad across functional areas and yet specific enough to allow students with interest in specific functional areas of business to explore sustainability in those specific area. More focus on the issues that keep companies from adopting such practices would be helpful to promote critical thinking on these issues.
The text is a bit dated and could benefit from a facelift in examples, cases and illustrations used. Also, some links are not working, again suggesting some updates are needed.
In my humble opinion this subject, sustainability, will retain relevance into the far future. The text has a modular structure that makes doable, assuming updates are scheduled on a regular basis.
This text is easy to follow and written in a language that is understandable and offers many examples.
The text feels consistent in vice and use of terminology and form across chapters.
I really enjoy the modularization of this text. It is set up in a way that could support team teaching for considering sustainable across the various functional as well as strategic issues in business.
The text is well organized. More examples, data and examples would strengthen, especially considering the undergraduate student experience.
Check links to support materials. Some links are not functional.
Text appears fine grammatically.
Nothing insensitive noted.
This book is a wealth of information and discusses in length how businesses should utilize sustainability methodology into a company’s daily operations. While the book describes the positives of sustainable business, the book does not discuss the... read more
This book is a wealth of information and discusses in length how businesses should utilize sustainability methodology into a company’s daily operations. While the book describes the positives of sustainable business, the book does not discuss the barriers for companies to become green and environmentally friendly. The breakdown of chapters works well with the various divisions within a business. Also, the listing of case studies needs additional information for students to evaluate, such as a timeline for the company to become sustainable, who in the company initiated the program, and what savings the company accomplished.
The book contains an incredible amount of web links listed throughout the book and in Chapter 11- Appendix: Resources for the Sustainable Business, however several of the links no longer work. The book lacks illustrations and graphics, which takes away from the student experience especially for a visual learner. The book quotes, “Through an energy audit, many companies have identified sources of wasted energy and accompanying opportunities to become more energy efficient”. The statement would be better if backed up with an actual energy or sustainable business project in the context of the book.
The book was published in 2012 and contains outdated material. For example, the link to ‘GreenJobInterview.com’ does not work. Updates are needed.
The information provides a variety of choices regarding sustainability for businesses. Students will learn about the many sustainable choices for companies.
Excellent reference book for sustainable programs listed throughout the book supports companies to become sustainable businesses.
The layout of the book assists students to locate essential information quickly.
While the book is organized well, more in-depth information is needed to assist students in fully understanding the concepts. Including charts, diagrams, and photos.
No interface issues noted.
No grammatical errors observed.
No insensitivity noted.
I enjoyed the book and all the information provided.
There is a lack of Illustrations and interactive features such as discussion questions or end of chapter questions. This would have made the textbook more interesting and active versus passive. More specific examples would have been helpful such... read more
There is a lack of Illustrations and interactive features such as discussion questions or end of chapter questions. This would have made the textbook more interesting and active versus passive. More specific examples would have been helpful such as walking through an actual triple bottom line accounting example or the tracking and measurement of sustainability. Additionally, there is no table of contents, glossary, or index which would have been helpful to refer to when reading the book or using it as a reference tool.
This book focuses almost exclusively on the positives of sustainability. While this is certainly important, the negatives should also be put forward to provide a more balanced view.
For example, the text states there is “a growing awareness that sustainability creates a win–win situation for the business and humanity alike.” This is not necessarily so. For example, the upfront costs of some sustainability initiatives are extremely high and therefore can be considered a negative when making a business decision from a financial standpoint. More talk about the barriers is warranted. Only criticisms noted were during the LCA section.
Also, the book does not emphasize the importance of profit to a for-profit company and overlooks this critical decision-making piece. The business case for sustainability would have been helpful to emphasize more throughout the book.
A couple of other inaccurate examples of statements in the book include:
“The company that seeks to be a sustainable business should understand that sustainability is a company-wide goal that incorporates every aspect of the business and its relationships.” This is not necessarily true, but can be a goal of a business.
“The demand for environmentally friendly products is inelastic, for the most part, meaning that a change in the price has little or no effect on the quantity that consumers are willing to buy.” This is not necessarily true as consumers for the most part still tend to be cost conscious.
I found much of the material outdated which is to be expected since it was published in 2012. Some updates would be much needed as almost a decade has gone by and the information on this topic tends to become outdated relatively quickly.
The book is written in a way that is accessible to various audiences and provides adequate context for the terminology used.
Ch. 1 states “As you read A Primer on Sustainable Business, we challenge you to not think of sustainability as a program, an initiative, or an activity. Rather, sustainability is a mind-set, a philosophy, and worldview. Throughout each chapter, you are challenged to alter the way you view your job, the workplace, the business, and the world.” But there was not a strong argument made on why this would be important and what this would encompass. Additionally, this emphasis was not continued throughout the book.
The text is easily and readily divisible into smaller reading sections.
There was not a compelling case not made on why to implement all of the various measures mentioned in the book. More examples and numbers and figures on why these sustainability strategies should be implemented would have been helpful.
Overall, no significant interface issues. However, the note numbers are not labeled such as”2.3”, “2.4”, etc.
No significant grammatical errors noted
No insensitivity or offensiveness noted
Please see above comments.
This book explains how sustainability impacts on all perspectives of Business, from three major functions of Business: Operations Management, Finance, Marketing, to the other areas of Business such as Human Resources, Information System and etc..... read more
This book explains how sustainability impacts on all perspectives of Business, from three major functions of Business: Operations Management, Finance, Marketing, to the other areas of Business such as Human Resources, Information System and etc.. It summarizes a variety of resources and best business practices, which give college students and practitioners a good introduction.
Most contents are accurate.
It would be great that some of examples can get updated timely.
All the expainations are clear and easy to understand. It would be better if there is more graphic demonstrations.
Terms used are very consistent through the whole text.
The book provides a good structure for team-teaching.
The contents are well-organized, which is easy for readers to follow.
No major problems is found here.
No grammatical errors is identified.
I am not very sure that hiring within community should be the first sustainability strategy in Human Resources Management. Would diversity, inclusion and equality be the essentials we continue to advocate?
Overall, it is a great book.
Table of Contents
- A Background in Sustainability
- Chapter 1: Operations Management
- Chapter 2: Human Resources
- Chapter 3: Finance
- Chapter 4: Research and Development
- Chapter 5: Marketing
- Chapter 6: IT and MIS
- Chapter 7: Accounting
- Chapter 8: Next Steps: Sustainability Strategy
- Chapter 9: Sustainable Business: Case Examples
- Appendix: Resources for the Sustainable Business
- Detailed Licensing
About the Book
Going green, green business, and sustainable business are topics on everyone’s mind. But what does all this mean exactly? A Primer on Sustainable Business answers that question and provides an introduction to the basics you need to know.