The Business of Sustainability
Trends, Policies, Practices, and Stories of Success [3 volumes]
by Scott G. McNall, James C. Hershauer, and George Basile
October 2011, 1059pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
3 volumes, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-313-38494-3
$224, £173, 195€, A307
eBook Available: 978-0-313-38495-0
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

The world has changed. The challenge of business is no longer about individual companies competing against each other; it’s supply networks competing with supply networks. Water—just like carbon emissions—is now recognized as a material risk that large business owners must address. “Sustainability” isn’t just a corporate buzzword; it’s a necessity.

This three-volume set is a landmark comprehensive overview of the business of sustainability, providing 56 separate chapters from leaders in business, non-profit organizations, and from within the academic and policy world.

In today’s business environment, “garbage” isn’t simply worthless refuse to be disposed of anymore; it often represents a material with monetary value. The human population is using up about 30 percent more natural resources in one year than the earth can regenerate. Because businesses constitute half of the world’s largest economies, there can be no sustainability without sustainable businesses.

The Business of Sustainability: Trends, Policies, Practices, and Stories of Success is a foundation set that effectively captures and articulates the why, what, who, and how of sustainability and business. Volume I covers the scientific, economic, and social underpinnings of sustainability and identifies the challenges facing business leaders. Volume II explores the global network of designers, producers, suppliers, distributors, and consumers that must be addressed as a unit from a cradle-to-cradle, life-cycle perspective. Volume III presents examples of success across many industries, demonstrating that sustainability is indeed possible.

Each volume analytically addresses the larger issues, such as the challenges of managing a business to the standards of sustainability, measuring progress or success, and creating—and maintaining—sustainable businesses. This monumental work provides a comprehensive treatment of sustainability in the world of businesses, exploring all of its dimensions: obstacles, metrics, opportunities, and pathways to success.


  • Contributions from more than 70 authors recognized for their work in sustainability
  • Several chapters with systemic frameworks
  • Numerous case studies demonstrating successful approaches by industry innovators
  • 55 figures with models and steps for analyses
  • A bibliography with each chapter
Scott G. McNall is professor of sociology, former provost and vice president for academic affairs at California State University, Chico, CA, and was the founding director of the Institute for Sustainable Development at CSU. His published works include Rapid Climate Change: Causes, Consequences and Solutions; The Road to Rebellion: Class Formation and Kansas Populism; The Greek Peasant; and Plains Families and Sociology: A Comparative and Historical Perspective.

James C. Hershauer, DBA, is emeritus professor of management and affiliate faculty of the School of Sustainability, Arizona State University. Hershauer has received the award of Fellow in the Decision Sciences Institute and was editor of the Decision Sciences Journal. He has coauthored eight volumes about business practices on such topics as productivity, quality, and supply chains. He has published more than 50 articles in a wide variety of journals—his most recent paper, coauthored with Dan O'Neill and Jay Golden, is "The Cultural Context of Sustainability Entrepreneurship" published in Greener Management International.

George Basile, PhD, is professor in the School of Sustainability and a senior sustainability scientist at the Global Institute of Sustainability, Arizona State University. He is an internationally recognized creative thinker in the field of sustainability. He has served as the executive director of the Decision Theater at Arizona State University, exploring decision making, resource intelligence, and sustainability; as chief scientist of the Natural Step, an international nongovernmental organization (NGO) focused on strategic planning for sustainability; and led his own sustainability consultancy. Basile has led strategic sustainability efforts with numerous Fortune 500 companies, served on the boards of sustainability start ups and NGOs, and presented widely. His published works include more than 30 articles and reports in the field of sustainability, and he is coauthor of Strategic Leadership toward Sustainability.
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