New Book by BSR's Aron Cramer: Sustainable Excellence is Key to Business Success in a Fast-Changing World

Oct 12, 2010, 00:01 ET from BSR

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The businesses that build social and environmental considerations into the DNA of their companies will survive and thrive in the years to come, argues BSR President and CEO Aron Cramer in his new book Sustainable Excellence: The Future of Business in a Fast-Changing World, published today (Rodale Books, 2010).

Sustainable Excellence tells the story of how companies are adapting their strategies to meet the challenges of a world characterized by depleting natural resources, climate change, rising consumer expectations, and "radical transparency." Cramer's book provides unique insights into how "sustainable excellence" positions companies to capture opportunities presented by the rise of emerging markets, rapid technological innovation, and growing consumer interest in sustainability. The book reveals how business is increasingly oriented toward creating innovative solutions to the world's most pressing challenges.

"I wrote this book to build on my experience, and that of my colleagues at BSR, in bringing sustainability into the mainstream of global business," said Cramer. "I am convinced that sustainable excellence will be the defining feature of the companies that achieve the greatest results, both for themselves, and for all of us as global citizens, over the next ten years. I hope that Sustainable Excellence serves as both a roadmap and a catalyst for business leaders everywhere."

In Sustainable Excellence: The Future of Business in a Fast-Changing World, Cramer and co-author Zachary Karabell, president of River Twice Research, share stories of the work they've done with industry leaders at top global companies, and show how these organizations are reinventing themselves in order to respond to—and shape—today's global paradigm shifts.

Cramer and Karabell define a sustainable business as one that "delivers value for investors, customers and employees; improves the living standards of its employees and the communities it touches; makes wise use of natural resources; and treats people fairly." They write, "In order to survive and thrive, business leaders must discover the formula for sustainable excellence...Those that shape their strategies to meet these conditions will deliver lasting value for investors as well as solutions to the biggest social and environmental challenges of the twenty-first century."

Cramer and Karabell list the five core elements needed to achieve sustainable excellence:

  1. Think big: create business strategies that meet global challenges
  2. Use sustainability to drive innovation
  3. Set the right incentives—internally and externally
  4. Embrace the transparent world—and collaborate
  5. Make consumers your partners

Practicing sustainable excellence is an essential part of business today, and will only grow more important in the years ahead. Among the issues Cramer and Karabell speak to are:

  • Why sustainability is a critical strategic issue for business
  • Examples of companies who are leading the way towards sustainable excellence today—and 10 companies that will shape the world in 2020
  • How companies are engaging consumers to stimulate demand for sustainable products and services
  • Examples of innovative business partnerships and solutions to global social and environmental issues.

Sustainable Excellence is a pioneering work that addresses one of the biggest concerns we face in the global economy and as a society: how can we integrate environmentally and socially responsible practices with the aims of big business? Cramer and Karabell's book makes a solid case for the fact that achieving this is not only possible, but necessary.

Endorsements for Sustainable Excellence: The Future of Business in a Fast-Changing World

"Essential reading for any business aiming to understand how they can turn sustainability into opportunity."

—Chris Anderson, editor-in-chief of Wired magazine and author of The Long Tail and Free

"Sustainable Excellence provides an insightful window into the intersection of business and environment. Companies that take to heart the lessons Aron Cramer and Zachary Karabell provide will be well positioned as natural resource constraints reshape the business landscape."

—Mark Tercek, president and CEO of the Nature Conservancy

About Aron Cramer

Aron Cramer, president and CEO of BSR, is recognized globally as an authority on corporate responsibility by leaders in business and NGOs and by his peers in the field. He advises senior executives at BSR's 250 member companies and other global businesses, and is regularly featured as a speaker at major events and in a range of media outlets. Under his leadership, BSR has doubled its staff and significantly expanded its global presence. Visit for more information.

About BSR

A leader in corporate responsibility since 1992, BSR works with its global network of more than 250 member companies to develop sustainable business strategies and solutions through consulting, research, and cross-sector collaboration. With offices in Asia, Europe, and North America, BSR uses its expertise in the environment, human rights, economic development, and governance and accountability to guide global companies toward creating a just and sustainable world. Visit for more information.