Read more about The Sustainable Business Case Book

The Sustainable Business Case Book

(4 reviews)

Ross Gittell, University of New Hampshire

Matt Magnusson, University of New Hampshire

Michael Merenda, Whittemore School of Business

Copyright Year: 2012

ISBN 13: 9781453346778

Publisher: Saylor Foundation

Language: English

Formats Available

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Reviewed by Pavlina McGrady, Assistant Professor, Southern Oregon University on 1/15/21

The book includes thirteen chapters. The first six chapters explain concepts related to sustainability (i.e., sustainability frameworks (Chapter 1), the science of sustainability, including sustainability economics, earth’s history, and ecology,... read more

Reviewed by Shinyong (Shawn) Jung, Assistant Professor, Metropolitan State University of Denver on 10/23/19

The textbook covers sustainability comprehensively taking into consideration its triple bottom line (Economic, Environmental, and Social perspectives). First six chapters discuss core concepts and disciplines that are directly associated with... read more

Reviewed by Heidi Sickert, Adjunct Professor, Portland Community College on 1/7/16

This textbook provides interesting and important case studies on sustainable businesses, which highlight the challenges and benefits of following and achieving the triple-bottom-line goals of sustainability. The case studies are effective at... read more

Reviewed by Juanjuan Wu, Assistant Professor, University of Minnesota on 7/15/14

In my view this text is not meant to be comprehensive but mainly to provide "real world business examples of sustainability in action." However, it does take a systems approach to the understanding of sustainability, which includes a variety of... read more

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1: Introduction to Sustainable Business and Sustainable Business Core Concepts and Frameworks
  • Chapter 2: The Science of Sustainability
  • Chapter 3: Government, Public Policy, and Sustainable Business
  • Chapter 4: Accountability for Sustainability
  • Chapter 5: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Sustainable Business
  • Chapter 6: Sustainable Business Marketing
  • Chapter 7: Case: Sustainable Business Entrepreneurship: Simply Green Biofuels
  • Chapter 8: Case: Marketing Sustainability: Seventh Generation Creating a Green Household Consumer Product
  • Chapter 9: Case: Brewing a Better World: Sustainable Supply Chain Management at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc.
  • Chapter 10: Case: Oakhurst Dairy: Operations Management and Sustainability
  • Chapter 11: Case: Accounting for Sustainability: How Does Timberland Do It and Why?
  • Chapter 12: Case: Sustainable Investing: Pax World Helping Investors Change the World
  • Chapter 13: Case: Strategic Mission–Driven Sustainable Business: Stonyfield Yogurt

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  • About the Book

    The issue of sustainability and specifically sustainable business is of increasing interest and importance to students of business and also students in the sciences, government, public policy, planning and other fields. There can be significant benefits from students learning about sustainable business from the rich experiences of business practice.

    The Sustainable Business Case Book by Gittell, Magnusson and Merenda is one of the first of its kind. It combines the the theory of sustainability with key concepts, analytical information and contextual information with a collection of cases which provide insights, perspective and practical guidance on how sustainable businesses operate from different business functional area perspectives.

    The Sustainable Business Case Book can be used as a stand-alone text or as a supplemental textbook for undergraduate courses that have an interest in sustainable business. While the book's primary focus is on the relationship between business and sustainability, the book can also be used in courses offered in fields other than business, including environmental and earth systems sciences, environmental studies, urban planning, economics and public policy.

    The first part of The Sustainable Business Case Book, Chapter 1 through Chapter 3, introduces students to the meaning of sustainability, and the practice of sustainable business. The introductory chapters also describe key concepts, analytical frameworks, and contextual information relevant for the understanding of business sustainability. Chapter 1, defines sustainability and describes how and why businesses choose to engage in sustainable practices and how sustainable business practices relate to corporate profitability and social responsibility. Chapters 2 and 3 provide important background and contextual information affecting sustainable business practice. Chapter 2, The Science of Sustainability, reviews scientific evidence about climate change and the human and business influences on climate change. Chapter 3, Sustainability, Public Policy and Business, describes the significant role of government and public policy in sustainability, including setting the rules, regulations and laws that define the market and market opportunities for sustainable business practice.

    After presenting a framework for understanding business engagement in sustainability and helping your students develop a core background of information on sustainable business seven case studies across the business disciplines illustrating business sustainability practices are presented. At the beginning of each case study chapter Learning Objectives are listed with major sustainable business points and principles that the case will illustrate and illuminate. Each case chapter includes listing of Key Takeaways, Key Terms and Exercises for students. In each case chapter, there are four main areas of focus:

    1. Context and motivating interest in sustainability for company;
    2. Description of the sustainable business practice and how it was implemented;
    3. Results in terms of changes in sales/revenues, costs, profits and competitive positioning from the sustainable business practice;
    4. Challenges and opportunities, and future considerations as a result of the company implementing the sustainable business practice.


    About the Contributors


    Ross Gittell is the James R. Carter Professor at the University of New Hampshire's Whittemore School of Business and Economics. Professor Gittell’s scholarly focus involves applying economic, organizational and management theory to regional, state, and community economic development issues. His main areas of specialization and research include entrepreneurship, the environment and the economy, and collaborative public and private sector economic development efforts. He is the author of two books and over 70 academic articles. In 2002 Professor Gittell received the University of New Hampshire’s Excellence in Public Service award and in 2004 the University’s Outstanding Associate Professor award. Professor Gittell’s research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation and the Energy Foundation. His applied research activities include work for the states of New Hampshire and Massachusetts, the New Hampshire Business & Industry Association, the State of New Hampshire’s, Department of Environmental Services, the New Hampshire Small Development Center, the Children’s Alliance of New Hampshire and the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy. Professor Gittell is Vice President, forecast manager and on the board of the New England Economic Project. He is also on the board of the Exeter Trust Company, the Endowment for Health, Exeter Health Services and Exeter Hospital. Ross Gittell received his Ph.D. from Harvard University, M.B.A. from University of California at Berkeley, and A.B in Economics from the University of Chicago.

    Matt Magnusson is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire’s (UNH) Whittemore School of Business and Economics with a master of business administration. He currently is earning his PhD in natural resources and environmental studies at UNH and is also an adjunct lecturer at UNH, teaching sustainability business models. He has provided analysis on the economic impacts of several different environmental public policy initiatives, including work on the NH Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a carbon cap-and-trade program in the Northeast. Other research includes “New Hampshire’s Green Economy and Industries: Current Employment and Future Opportunities,” “Economic Impact of the Proposed Antrim 30 MW Wind Power Project in Antrim, New Hampshire,” and the economic analysis of policies proposed in “The New Hampshire Climate Action Plan,” performed for the NH Climate Change Task Force.

    Dr. Michael Merenda is a Professor of Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship and Chair of the Management Departments in the Whittemore School of Business and Economics at the University of New Hampshire. His current research interests are in: Case research, The Role of Entrepreneurial Education in Fostering Entrepreneurship; TMT Experience in Venture Creation and The Strategic Use of Information Technology in SME Competitiveness. His research has appeared in: International Journal of E-Business Research, International Journal of Case Method Research & Application, Journal of Excellence in College Teaching, The Case Research Journal, Telecommunication Policy, Journal of Industrial and Corporate Change, Sloan Management Review, Journal of Business & Entrepreneurship, and International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal. Mike is Director of the University’s Annual Holloway Prize, Innovation-To-Market Competition and his students regularly participate in the Annual I2P (Idea to Product) Global Competition. Mike received his B.S. and M.B.A. degrees from Northeastern University and Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts.

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