Building a Culture for Sustainability
People, Planet, and Profits in a New Green Economy
by Jeana Wirtenberg
January 2014, 312pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-0376-5
$65, £50, 57€, A90
Please contact your preferred distributor for pricing.
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-0377-2
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“Sustainability” isn’t merely a buzzword; it’s critical to long-term success. Read three new articles about this practical guide to achieving sustainability:

Does Sustainability Mean Anything Anymore? Lessons From Pfizer, Alcoa and Alcatel-Lucent” by Andrew Cave at

Companies That Do Sustainabililty Right Make it Mainstream, Not Niche” by Jeana Wirtenberg at

Three Transformative Business Sustainability Trends” by Jeana Wirtenberg at the Stanford SOCIAL INNOVATION Review website.

This practical, easy-to-understand book sets a path to successfully building a culture for sustainability in today's global marketplace, providing 'best practice' case studies from industries and sectors including manufacturing, business-to-business, hospitality, consumer products, telecommunications, and professional services.

In their own words, leaders, managers, and employees from nine global companies explain how they are turning their visions into reality. Sustainability and human resources expert Jeana Wirtenberg describes how these companies are transforming challenges into opportunities by opening their minds to the megatrends that will define the future. The vast majority of today’s CEOs consider sustainability essential to their company’s success, yet most do not know how to embed it into their company and its culture. This book guides firms of all types and sizes—from those organizations just starting their journey to sustainability, to those seeking to accelerate their positive impact on people, reduce their negative environmental impact, and improve their bottom line. Wirtenberg shows readers how extraordinary results are possible by engaging the hearts and minds of employees throughout the organization.


  • Never-before-published stories and lessons learned from nine successful global companies that are building cultures for sustainability
  • Tips from business leaders on how to create purposeful work environments that ignite employees' passion
  • Practical resources: on-the-ground successful programs; proven global and local best practices; top-down and bottom-up strategies and activities; and user-friendly frameworks, tools, and references that help firms at any level of sustainability build a more sustainable culture via increased employee engagement
Jeana Wirtenberg, PhD, is president and CEO, Transitioning to Green, and cofounder/senior advisor, Institute for Sustainable Enterprise, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Madison, NJ. Her published works include "Sustainable Enterprise for the 21st Century" in Praeger's The Business of Sustainability: Trends, Policies, Practices, and Stories of Success; "Transitioning to the Green Economy," a special issue of People & Strategy; and "Unleashing Talent for a Sustainable Future" in The Talent Management Handbook: Creating a Sustainable Competitive Advantage by Selecting, Developing, and Promoting the Best People. She was lead editor of The Sustainable Enterprise Fieldbook: When It All Comes Together. For several years, Wirtenberg has written a weekly newsletter on sustainability for The Wall Street Journal. She holds a doctorate in psychology from the University of California at Los Angeles.


"Writing from her heart, mind, and soul, Wirtenberg pays tribute to the role the precious earth plays for all people living, working, and creating value together in organizations across the globe. . . . She convincingly shows how all organizational members can co-create sustainable mindsets, cultures, and results by engaging employees, inspiring personal innovation, fueling care and commitment, creating 'leaderful' environments, and cultivating sustainability-inspired habits."—People & Strategy Journal, March 15, 2014

“Changing company culture is the biggest challenge for sustainability champions. Jeana Wirtenberg gleans best practices and lessons learned from case studies of nine leading companies’ experiences to provide a buffet of proven approaches for hungry culture-change agents. Perfect. Now let’s get on with it."—Bob Willard, Author of The New Sustainability Advantage: Seven Business Case Benefits of a Triple Bottom Line

“This book offers excellent examples of how organizations can make the commitment to sustainability congruent with the other economic drivers that often hold organizations captive.”—Edgar H. Schein, Professor Emeritus, MIT Sloan School of Management

“Anyone who wants to create a sustainable organization—with a culture that’s good for people, profits, and our planet—can learn from this insightful book. The challenges met and lessons learned at nine brand-name companies are memorably described, and a comprehensive framework for action shows readers how to stimulate meaningful change. It’s a great read!”—Susan E. Jackson, Distinguished Professor of Human Resource Management, School of Management and Labor Relations, Rutgers University

“This is a must-read for any leader, citizen, student, or organization interested in how to create a culture of sustainability. Wirtenberg’s story is a positive one and is one focused on solutions. Starting from the position that it is both necessary and feasible to find a way to ‘have enough, for all, forever,’ Wirtenberg carefully demonstrates how and why this is possible, building her case around the practices of nine major corporations. Wirtenberg’s effort will take its place alongside other classics of the sustainability and green-business movement. And it is an important book for all of those who care about our mutual future, our responsibilities toward one another, and how we can create a more just and sustainable future."—Scott G. McNall, Emeritus Provost and Professor, California State University, Chico, and Founding Executive Director of the Institute for Sustainability

“A practical, well-written guide to building a corporate culture of sustainability, well-illustrated with in-depth case studies and the author’s insights. Highly recommended!” —Jacquelyn A. Ottman, Author of The New Rules of Green Marketing

"Jeana Wirtenberg moves beyond single-focus studies of environmental sustainability to explore its human side, which is necessary for long-term success. By engaging employees, inspiring personal innovation, fueling care and commitment, creating leaderful environments, and cultivating sustainability-inspired habits, all organizational members may co-create sustainable mindsets, cultures, and results. The book masterfully integrates vision, passion, and reflection with well-documented case studies, personal interviews, and rigorous analysis while also providing practical guidance and a roadmap for change."—Kristine Marin Kawamura, Professor of Management and Director of the MBA program, St. Georges University
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