About Green to Gold

Green to Gold was born from conversations we started in 2002. Dan Esty had been thinking about his trips, 10 years apart, to the two "Earth Summit" events. In 1992, in Rio, there seemed to be momentum behind green business. But something had changed by 2002. Had the business world lost heart or focus? Dan thought it might be time for a review of what companies had been doing. Andrew Winston had just arrived at Yale with a wide range of corporate experience, but looking for ways to bridge the gap between the environmental and business worlds. (for more on us, see The Authors).

As a first step, we looked at what had been written about green business strategy. After studying the best books and articles (see Resources), we discovered that nearly all the stories told were "win-win." They made the claim that taking on environmental thinking always worked, mainly by cutting costs. Knowing that this "sure thing" consensus was unrealistic, we set out to understand what really was working--and what was not--when businesses go green.

After three-plus years of research and hundreds of interviews, Green to Gold is the result. We've summarized to the best of our ability why companies go green, the strategies and tools they use to get there, and of course the pitfalls they run into.

This site is meant to provide additional resources for readers of the book, but also stand alone as a hub of information. Please explore the many links to organizations and websites dedicated to the environmental issues business face, and to tools that help companies create value. See the Green Wave for context on why companies are feeling pressure to go green, and explore the Toolkit and Resources for ideas and information.

Please contact us with any suggestions or additions to the site.

The official blurb from the book jacket

"This book explores what every executive must know to manage the environmental challenges facing business and society. Based on the authors' years of experience and hundreds of interviews with corporate leaders around the world, Green to Gold shows how companies generate lasting value--cutting costs, reducing risk, driving new revenues, and creating strong brands--by building environmental thinking into their core business strategies.

Daniel C. Esty and Andrew S. Winston provide clear how-to advice and concrete examples from companies like BP, Toyota, IKEA, Nike, and GE that are achieving both environmental and business success. The authors show how these cutting-edge companies are establishing an "Eco-Advantage" in the marketplace as traditional elements of competitive differentiation fade in importance. Esty and Winston not only highlight successful strategies but also make plain what does not work, spelling out why environmental initiatives sometimes fail despite the best intentions.

Green to Gold is written for executives at every level and for businesses of all kinds and sizes. Esty and Winston guide readers through a complex world of resource shortfalls, regulatory restrictions, and the growing pressure from customers and other stakeholders to strive for sustainability. With a clear focus on execution, this book offers a hard-hitting yet thoughtful and inspiring road map that companies can use to cope with environmental pressures and responsibilities while sparking innovation that will drive long-term growth. Green to Gold is the new template for global CEOs and managers who want to be good stewards of the Earth -- and deliver bottom line results."