It's time to change the conversation about corporate sustainability. Killing Sustainability
is the blunt truth about why many executives hesitate to invest in sustainability, social responsibility and investor-oriented environmental/social/governance (ESG) programs, how sustainability/CSR professionals create credibility problems in their organizations and how to use behavioral economics and credible financial valuation methods to overcome these barriers.
Based on three and one-half decades of advising Fortune 500 companies, the US Securities and Exchange Commission, US Departments of State and Commerce and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on environmental management, responsible supply chains, sustainability, risk management and non-financial auditing, author Lawrence M. Heim delivers what others in the sustainability/CSR/ESG world won't talk about. Attacking current corporate groupthink on the value of corporate sustainability and social responsibility, the book includes research and developments current up to the January 2018 World Economic Forum's 10th Annual Global Risk Report.
Killing Sustainability reveals historical attitudes that continue to impact executive actions today, how sustainability/CSR professionals create credibility problems in organizations and ways to apply behavioral economics and credible financial valuation methods.
Instead of offering a formulaic list of cliche projects, Heim gives readers in-depth understanding of barriers that exist in convincing the C-suite and consumers of sustainability/CSR's value, then provides frameworks and approaches for communicating in a way that is meaningful to specific audiences, including the all-important economic justification.
In other words, rather than serving the reader a single meal, Heim teaches readers how to cook, and cook well.
Some of the topics covered:
- what does "Killing Sustainability" really mean and why is it necessary?
- historical foundations of why executives are cynical about sustainability
- the impact of the supply chain, and related limitations
- the truth about CSR audits and why buyers bear much responsibility for audit outcomes
- applying the latest research in behavioral economics, accounting and financial valuation methods
- why consumers lie about buying sustainable/ethical products
- reasons for AVOIDING linking sustainability/CSR to your company's stock price
- the Plague of executive short-term thinking and management
- painful realities of internal perceptions and bias about sustainability organizations and leaders
- reviews and ratings of a handful of sustainability's "shiny new objects" - including ESG ratings for investors - which the author calls "squirrels".
Written in an informal and easy-to-read style using minimal jargon. Clear and concise for a quick read. Pragmatic guidance on successfully communicating with executives and finding the right opportunities.
This book will appeal to not only sustainability, CSR & ESG practitioners, but also to executives, accountants, investors, those in administrative functions supporting these initiatives and students looking for a different perspective on the matter.
About the Author
Lawrence M. Heim, CPEA has spent almost 35 years in corporate environmental management and sustainability as in-house or external advisor to Fortune 500 and privately-held companies in diverse industries and geographies - advocating for pragmatism, sensibility and integrity. Frequently speaking out against corporate groupthink and trends in the sustainability/CSR advisory community, he has given hundreds of talks on sustainability, supply chain matters and auditing. He has assisted the US Securities and Exchange Commission, US Department of State, US Government Accountability Office, US Department of Commerce, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and industry associations in primary metals, electronics and auditing. Today he is the Managing Director of Elm Sustainability Partners, LLC and continues to work with companies globally on sustainability, environmental, supply chain and related topics.