Green to Gold Plays

An excerpt from Green to Gold (p.101):

"How do companies create an Eco-Advantage? To answer this question, we first had to ask a more basic one: How do companies create competitive advantage in general?"

We started by looking at the work of Harvard Business School's Michael Porter who described two basic categories of competitive advantage: lowering costs or differentiating a product on quality, features, or service. We tweaked this model a bit to describe the world of environmental plays. We see four fundamental ways to create value for your company: lower costs, reduce risk, increase revenues, and enhance brand value.

From Green to Gold (p.103-4):

"To help us think through the environmental strategies companies use, or fail to use, we added one more dimension to the analysis. We asked ourselves whether a strategy was fairly certain or less certain to generate value. To oversimplify, we say that “certain” is roughly equivalent to the short-term and “less certain” to the long-term…Through our interviews and research, we saw WaveRiders using eight fundamental strategies that accomplish one of the four overarching strategic tasks…Smart companies use these strategies to convert environmental and sustainability thinking into profit.

The eight plays, shown below on our grid, are the playbook for a new green strategy. The Toolkit we focus on in this site contains the concrete actions companies take to build the infrastructure for executing these plays. We describe the plays in full in Green to Gold.

Green to Gold plays framework

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