There are a number of books by John Elkington, the veteran corporate sustainability trail blazer which offer a great stepping stone into the field.
1. One of his first: Cannibals with Forks: Triple Bottom Line of 21st Century Business Paperback– September 1, 1999 by John Elkington (Author)
2. And one of his last: The Breakthrough Challenge: 10 Ways to Connect Today’s Profits With Tomorrow’s Bottom Line Hardcover – August 4, 2014 by John Elkington (Author), Jochen Zeitz (Author), Sir Richard Branson (Foreword)
… made it into this list for setting the agenda in the late 90ties and for moving into a more practical implementation phase in the 21st century bringing solutions to scale.
Speaking from personal experience within corporations:
3. Business Lessons from a Radical Industrialist by Ray Anderson, the founder and chairman of the commercial carpet company Interface.
4. Responsible Leadership: Lessons from the Front Line of Sustainability and Ethics by Mark Moody-Stuart (Greenleaf, 2014)
5. Rachel Botsman’s and Roo Rogers “What’s mine is yours. The rise of Collaborative Consumption” which has considerably contributed to the debate about responsible consumption in 2010 and beyond. “[Full of impressive examples of entrepreneurs establishing new markets. Ultimately, the authors’ optimism is infectious.” (—The Australian)
6. A different approach to the issue of consumption is Tim Jackson’s “Prosperity without Growth – Economics for a Finite Planet” which doesn’t come a moment too soon.
Understanding corporate sustainability requires understanding of why some corporations outlast the competition:
7. One can’t go past a classic business management book about the prinicples of managing for good by John Collins: ”Build to Last“.
8. Another topic close to our heart here at Momentum International Partnership is how to create momentum for sustainable development (pun intended!) and we were struck by the timeliness of “The Big Mo – why momentum now rules our world”. Like it or not, the notion is worth exploring the ideas and their consequences for sustainability of the planet!
9. The Big Pivot: Radically Practical Strategies for a Hotter, Scarcer, and More Open World by Andrew S. Winston (Harvard Business Review Press, 2014)
Last, but not least, the power of economic empowerment of the poor at the bottom of the pyramid:
10. How the Poor Can Save Capitalism: Rebuilding the Path to the Middle Class by John Hope Bryant (Berrett-Koehler, 2014)