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Books

Sustainability in Practice

written by Jan Peter Bergkvist
published by Sleepwell AB

date of publication: January 2010

recommended retail price: £17

As a leader today you are expected to integrate sustainable practices into the everyday operation of your organization.  

Your team, your customers, the politicians, the share holders, your board, your kids, the media, and the blogosphere  in short, any stake holder - they all want you, and, in many cases, expect you to be part of the solution instead of contributing to the increasing problems of our world.

Sustainability is fun and creates pride from within your business and through that strengthens the internal culture in your organization. At the same time as it adds value to your brand. The debate during the last decade has been partly unclear with many myths and bad information. Today we can see a shift of paradigm and my ambition with this booklet is not to add any more theories and buzz words but to give you a few clear and practical ideas of what you can actually DO TODAY in YOUR organization - examples of practical measures and initiatives that move your organization towards a sustainable future and at the same time create immediate value, increased profit, a stronger brand and esprit de corps.

It matters not if you are CEO of a company, head of a department or manager in an organization or secretary general in an association. As a leader at any level you are the key to success in creating a more sustainable organization.

Below you find an excerpt from Jan Peter Bergkvist's recently published book Sustainability in Practice with ready-to-implement tips and ideas to activate a holistic sustainability plan for your business? The book is meant to be a fast track resource to build competent, responsible corporate leadership and is designed as a handbook for leaders at all levels in your organization to help solve your sustainability puzzle!

Its ten minutes past 9 a.m. in Nice, France and Ive just had an excellent French breakfast. Spring has arrived and a clear sky shines over an azure blue Mediterranean sea at the horizon. A few lonely fishing boats are already out there and the first tourist has gone for a cold swim in the waters below.
 
Three years ago France and southern Europe were hit by a heat wave and well over 10,000 people died. This was one of several examples of an unnatural change of our weather that can be referred to as man-made climate change, a phenomena now acknowledged as reality for people in general, as well as for media and decision makers of all types. This change has suddenly raised the awareness of and fear for the non sustainable use of fossil fuels in almost every activity in our society. More importantly it has also clarified for us that the current level of fossil CO2 and other green house gases, is not the main challenge. The fact is that we have built a society that, over time, systematically increases the fossil emissions day by day. This green house effect with its disastrous results  is a main challenge but again it is not the only one!

Global warming has been on everybodys lips and all serious scientists today agree that we need to halt the increase of todays global average temperature to a level no higher than around 2,4 degrees Celsius in order to survive. This is an objective that our politicians will struggle hard to achieve.  

The frightening fact that shows that Mother Nature is fragile and complex, is the recent research documenting that global dimming (man-made pollution helping to keep temperature down) actually may have hidden 1 degree Celsius of the global warming already caused. This would mean that we are already 20 years behind all the current political objectives being negotiated!

NOW! The bad news is that man is a one topic creature.  Global efforts to understand, agree and act to address climate change has been on top of the agenda.  Meanwhile, the spread of non-bio degradable chemicals, the destruction of our ecosystems (our lungsand larder) and the compromised ability for all people on earth to fulfill their needs has not abated.

AND not only that, all those issues are exponentially increasing in the system we call the developed world. This system, in which we all as human beings, executives, politicians, employees, academics and media are a part, requires that we must be prepared to care for it together.

BUT the good news is that we want to survive and we want our kids to survive. The main reason that the majority of us on this planet make thousands of non sustainable decisions every day in our lives is not that we are mean or stupid or want our children to get cancer or see the Maldives disappear. The reason is purely a lack of knowledge and understanding of what a sustainable world, society, company, family or individual looks like. This is why it is so encouraging to work with sustainability. Sustainable practices provide executives in companies every where the opportunity to realize that they can contribute to a better world and by that guarantee the delivery a higher value not only to mankind in the long term but also to the share holders and customers today...

If you would like to read more and share the ready-to-implement tips and ideas in the chapters listed below please order a copy via mail to :   janpeter.bergkvist@sleepwell.nu

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