Balancing Green

When to Embrace Sustainability in a Business (and When Not To)

The demands and stresses on companies only grow as executives face a multitude of competing business goals. Their stakeholders are interested in corporate profits, jobs, business growth, and environmental sustainability. In this book, business strategy expert Yossi Sheffi offers a pragmatic take on how businesses of all sizes—from Coca Cola and Siemens to Dr. Bronner’s Magical Soaps and Patagonia—navigate these competing goals. Drawing on extensive interviews with more than 250 executives, Sheffi examines the challenges, solutions, and implications of balancing traditional business goals with sustainability. 

Sheffi, author of the widely read The Resilient Enterprise, argues that business executives’ personal opinions on environmental sustainability  are irrelevant. The business merits of environmental sustainability are based on the fact that even the most ardent climate change skeptics in the C-suite face natural resource costs, public relations problems, regulatory burdens, and a green consumer segment. Sheffi presents three basic business rationales for corporate sustainability efforts: cutting costs, reducing risk, and achieving growth. 

For companies, sustainability is not a simple case of “profits versus planet” but is instead a more subtle issue of (some) people versus (other) people—those looking for jobs and inexpensive goods versus others who seek a pristine environment. This book aims to help companies satisfy these conflicting motivations for both economic growth and environmental sustainability.


Book Reviews

Supply Chain Brain Logo

Q&A | When to Embrace Sustainability — and When Not To, Supply Chain Brain,  December 2018.

Journal of Business Logistics Logo

Sustainability in Practice, Journal of Business Logistics, September 2018.

Wall Street Journal Logo
UPS Logo

Setting a Course for Viable Sustainability, UPS Longitudes, July 2018.

SCM World Logo

Sheffi on Sustainability: Green Grows UpSCM World: A Gartner Community, May 2018.

Logistics Viewpoints Logo

A Must-Read Business Book on Sustainability, LOGISTICS VIEWPOINTS: READ-THINK-SHARE, April 2018. 

MIT News Logo
Supply Chain Review Logo

Balancing Green: Q&A with Yossi Sheffi, Supply Chain Management Review, April 2018.




“This book offers valuable and expert guidance on how companies can develop business models that successfully meet the needs of different stakeholders.”
Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever 

“Some in business believe that companies have a responsibility to contribute to society and the environment, while others believe that every investment a company makes must return value. At UPS, we believe that both beliefs are compatible. I applaud Yossi Sheffi for his thoughtful treatment of a subject that is critically important not just to business, but to everyone on this planet.”
David Abney, Chairman and CEO, UP

"Balancing Green is one of the most compelling business books I have read in the past few years. I admire how you tell the story of 'sustainability' through a series of entertaining and witty accounts written with a very objective view of the reality. It’s a great model for how I would want to write a business book. A fantastic book!"

— Shardul Phadnis, PhD, Director, Center for e-Commerce And Retail Transformation (CART)



Balancing Green is now a recommended book by China Europe International Business School
Sejong Book Award: Excellent Academic book of the year
Balancing Green was honorably selected as one of the 2021 Sejong Books. Sejong Book program is hosted by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (Korean Government) and organized by the Korea Publishing Industry Promotion Agency. 'Balancing Green', was selected the excellent academic book of 2021.



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Korean Edition Balancing Green
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