Chris Laszlo and Nadya Zhexembayeva are co-authors of the just-released Embedded Sustainability: the Next BIG Competitive Advantage (Stanford University Press)

In years past, corporate social responsibility may have been seen as a feather in a corporation's cap but, today, ecological and social pressures require a new type of business response. Chris Laszlo and Nadya Zhexembayeva convincingly show how companies can better leverage global challenges for enduring profit and growth.

"Embedded sustainability” refers to the incorporation of environmental, health, and social value into core business activities with no trade-off in price or quality. When Clorox introduced its new line of Green Works cleaners or Nissan developed its Leaf 100% electric car, these firms were pursuing a profit shift in mainstream markets. In addition to churning out smarter (instead of just greener) products for consumers at large, embedded sustainability is capable of hugely motivating employees. Most of all, it enables companies to create even higher returns for investors, while responding to the new market realities of declining resources, radical transparency, and rising customer expectations.

Embedded sustainability is now a requisite in every sector, how smart companies are creating even higher value for their customers and investors, and what new management competencies are needed to compete in today's marketplace.

Laszlo is the author of Sustainable Value (2008) and The Sustainable Company (2003, paperback 2005). He is an Associate Professor at Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management, where he is the Faculty Research Director at the Fowler Center for Sustainable Value. A former executive with building materials leader Lafarge, Chris is co-founder and Managing Partner of Sustainable Value Partners, LLC, an advisory services firm specializing in sustainability for strategic advantage.

Zhexembayeva is the Coca-Cola Chair of Sustainable Development at IEDC-Bled School of Management, the European business school based in Slovenia, where she teaches leadership and sustainability strategy. Her work centers on organizational design for sustainable value and whole-system approaches to managing multi-stakeholder issues. She is Vice President of the global youth think-tank Challenge:Future and an Associate Partner of Sustainable Value Partners, LLC.

VIJAY SATHE is Professor of Management at the Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management. He was a professor at the Harvard Business School for ten years prior to joining the Drucker School faculty. He has taught in numerous executive education programs around the world, and has published five books and numerous articles in academic and professional journals. He has also served as a consultant to corporations worldwide, and has advised government agencies and not-for-profit organizations. Professor Sathe's two latest books are Corporate Entrepreneurship: Top Managers and New Business Creation, published by Cambridge University Press in 2003, and Manage Your Career: 10 Keys to Survival and Success When Interviewing and On the Job, published by Business Expert Press in 2008.

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