Ethical Performance
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review

The Sustainable MBA

September 2011

Aside from its confusing title, The Sustainable MBA is that rarest of things – a simple, accessible and comprehensive account of corporate sustainability.

The book is organized ‘like a business school course’ rather than being designed as a companion to one, and it gets back to basics, reintroducing for professionals fundamental ideas – such as what a sustainable organization looks like – that have, perhaps, been forgotten as the sustainability concept has become ever more complicated.

The book attempts to cover everything, from corporate governance to marketing to green offices. Every chapter gives a definition of one such issue, an outline of its intricacies, an account of how it can be measured, and a ‘What you can do’ section, and is sprinkled with ‘resources’ such as international standards. It also contains some useful tricks of the trade such as ‘getting past internal excuses’ and ‘the sustainability sales pitch’.

The formula is successful because, unlike some guidebooks, it makes no attempt to explain everything in one hit. Though broad in scope, the book functions much more as a kind of dictionary for managers and professionals, giving concise advice on a host of different and well-defined issues – but then, importantly, sending the reader elsewhere for more detailed guidance.

The book is necessarily short on the complexities and problems connected with some of the issues, but it does give a set of abstract ‘challenges’ for every issue. It is, however, lacking in examples, and when specific companies are mentioned it is usually only in reference to their successes, a strategy sure to raise more questions than answers with most readers.

Ben Hickman

The Sustainable MBA: the manager’s guide to green business, by Giselle Weybrecht. Wiley. £17.99



Ben Hickman | UK & NI Ireland | Sustainability

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