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The Responsibility Revolution: How the Next Generation of Businesses Will Win

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How to create a company that not only sustains, but surpasses-that moves beyond the imperative to be "less bad" and embrace an ethos to be "all good" From the Inspired Protagonist and Chairman of Seventh Generation, the country's leading brand of household products and a pioneering "good company," comes a one-of-a-kind book for leaders, entrepreneurs, and change agents everywhere. The Responsibility Revolution reveals the smartest ways for companies to build a better future-and hold themselves accountable for the results. Thousands of companies have pledged to act responsibly; very few have proven that they know how. This book will guide them. The Responsibility Revolution presents fresh ideas and actionable strategies to commit your company to a genuine socially and environmentally responsible business and culture, one that not only competes but wins on values. The Responsibility Revolution equips people with the tactics, models, and mind-sets they need to compete in a world where consumers now demand that companies contribute to the greater good.

240 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 2010

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Jeffrey Hollender

15 books2 followers

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Displaying 1 - 12 of 12 reviews
Profile Image for Oana.
433 reviews45 followers
April 3, 2018
Great book on sustainability and responsibility and how 21st century businesses need these in order to succed.
Filled with explanations, clear differences made between blunt PR, real sustainable strategies and green washing, as well as examples on companies doing the right thing.
Profile Image for Juan CA.
22 reviews
February 11, 2023
Overall it has the right idea, but from the start it oversimplified actions and topics, like just completely stating that organic is better than traditional without considering the challenges of organic.
I like the examples at the beginning, but then the book only focus on those same examples.
And it doesn't talk about the impact of government on business to work this challenges.
15 reviews
September 12, 2014
Six months after this book was published, Jeffrey Hollender was dismissed from the company he founded, Seventh Generation. I would not be surprised if the vision of corporate direction which Mr. Hollender articulates in the book directly impacted the Board of Directors' decision to look for a new leader who would have "unambiguous authority and accountability to the Seventh Generation Board and its shareholders." Mr. Hollender not only foresees a time when corporations are primarily beholden to consumers rather than to their boards and their shareholders, but actively works to facilitate the birth of a new corporate culture. His activism likely cost him the direction of his company, but freed him up to work on the larger issue of sustainable business through the American Sustainable Business Council, which he also co-founded.

In The Responsibility Revolution, Hollender and Breen explore the ways in which the theories of corporate responsibility and sustainability can, and have been, put into practice to build businesses that aren't just profit-driven, but actually contribute to the common good. They acknowledge that the majority of companies are not willing to change their behavior, but will end up doing so anyway if they wish to survive in a world of empowered consumers and social media driven accountability.

Though short, this book was a tough read for me, mainly because the intended audience is too broad. It appears to be targeted toward consumers, responsibility revolutionaries and their would-be counterparts, the leaders of existing businesses, and entrepreneurs looking to start a business. In trying to cover all these bases, the book is a bit scattered. It lacks cohesion in my opinion.

However, it is still a worthwhile read. It shows the evolution of corporate responsibility in these past 40 years, and gives hope that corporations might actually accept responsibility for the planet-wide costs of doing business, and actively work at remediation, investing themselves in sustaining the planet rather than profiteering from it. After reading this book I have some small hopes that corporations might recognize that they, too, are impacted by the Tragedy of the Commons situations, and as such they are citizens of the world just like you and me.
Profile Image for Marcus.
15 reviews6 followers
August 31, 2017
Hollender gives clear directions and insights to building a socially responsible business enterprise. People are becoming increasingly aware of the impact of their consumption on society & the earth, and are becoming conscious of the effects of their spending habits. Hollender writes that businesses are now coming to terms with this fact, and are taking steps to ensure that their operating processes are seen as responsible.

He also says that for a business to truly be socially responsible, its vision of CSR must be built into/integrated into the business model, instead of pouring money into a separate department.
December 9, 2020
How can businesses approach sustainability? What does it take, and what are the advantages that come with it? Hollender and Breen dwell upon these questions in The Responsibility Revolution and define six core principles that can serve as guidelines for companies. For each core principle, several company examples are elucidated, which demonstrate how diversely sustainability can be approached and alongside allow a varied reading experience.
Profile Image for Mehar Grewal.
3 reviews1 follower
June 7, 2021
A great book that talks about an emerging category of hybrid companies that are driven by both social and financial goals, and therefore fall somewhere between conventional companies and philanthropies - what some call a "for-benefit". Insightful case studies of M&S, IBM, Nike, Timberland etc and their journey towards developing a corporate consciousness!
Profile Image for Irina Scully.
2 reviews
April 25, 2023
I appreciated the examples but honestly this book could have been about 100 pages shorter than it was. Didn't need the lifeless extrapolation of each concept and the 5 restatements of the same thing. I think there's value in reading it but was a bit of a slog due to the writing..
Profile Image for manasa k.
409 reviews
February 4, 2019
interesting how it IS possible for companies to prioritize people and the environment over money...and still succeed...(literally dagger eyes at amazon rip)
75 reviews
November 15, 2021
More targeted towards business owners, less so for the general public. Strongly argues that an ethical company can be profitable and gives multiple examples
Profile Image for Robyn.
51 reviews4 followers
August 2, 2010
Great case studies on real corporate sustainability moves instead of green washing/cause marketing. Lots of applicable takeaway points to bring back to offices. I recommend to everyone who works in a business--for-profit, for-benefit, or nonprofit!
Profile Image for Ana Maria.
269 reviews5 followers
June 23, 2015
Contiene muchos casos de empresas que entregan productos físicos y el proceso de revolución que han seguido para tratar de hacer los productos con menos contaminantes y cancerígenos. También incluyen información de procesos para utilizar menos recursos, reciclaje y utilización de nuevos productos.
Profile Image for Theodore Kinni.
Author 13 books31 followers
January 20, 2016
Seventh Generation co-founder and chairman Jeffrey Hollender offers more than just the usual platitudes about CSR.
Displaying 1 - 12 of 12 reviews

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