Green to Gold: How Smart Companies Use Environmental Strategy to Innovate, Create Value, and Build Competitive Advantage

green-to-gold-coverAuthors: Daniel Esty and Andrew Winston

ISBN: 978-0-470-39374-1

Paperback: 408 pages

Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Recommended Retail Price: SGD 35.26 (including GST)

Available at all major bookstores

Book Review

Green to Gold is a must-read for every CEO and business leader who wishes to include environmental thinking into the company’s strategy and achieve competitive advantage.

The authors first give a concise summary of the Green Wave that is sweeping the business community, the environmental problems and challenges companies faced, and the stakeholders involved in shaping environmental strategies.

Next, to help companies integrate the environment into business strategy, the authors introduce a toolkit including the Eco-Advantage Mindset, Eco-Tracking, Redesign and Culture.

Companies that have an Eco-Advantage Mindset usually:

  • Look at the forest, not the trees
  • Start at the top
  • Adopt the Apollo 13 Principle
  • Recognize that feelings are facts
  • Do the right thing

The toolkit includes Eco-Tracking elements such as the AUDIO analysis to help companies understand their environmental impacts by looking at various categories: Aspects, Upstream, Downstream, Issues and Opportunities.

Companies should also Redesign their products and processes by adopting Design for the Environment (DfE) and closed-loop systems, and support the building of an eco Culture that promotes green thinking and innovation.

Besides the toolkit, the book helps companies to achieve Eco-Advantage by mapping out eight Green-to-Gold Plays, which are business strategies that reduce cost and risk, and increase revenue and intangible value:


1. Eco-efficiency – Improve resource productivity

2. Eco-expense reduction – Cut environmental costs and regulatory burden

3. Value chain eco-efficiency – Lower costs upstream and downstream


4. Eco-risk control – Manage environmentally driven business risk


5. Eco-design – Meet customer environmental needs

6. Eco-sales and marketing – Build product position and customer loyalty on green attributes

7. Eco-defined new market space – Promote value innovation and develop breakthrough products


8. Intangible value – Build corporate reputation and trusted brands

It’s time for businesses to go green and Green to Gold is a valuable guide to help business leaders make profits while benefiting people and the environment. The book addresses both strategic thinking and practical actions that companies can adopt immediately to build an Eco-Advantage.

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