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The Sustainable Enterprise Fieldbook
Buy now

The Sustainable Enterprise Fieldbook

When It All Comes Together 

Edited by Jeana Wirtenberg with William G. Russell and David Lipsky
July 2008   320 pp   234 x 156 mm  
hardback   ISBN 978-1-906093-09-9   £21.95  


Review copies   Inspection copies
The Sustainable Enterprise Fieldbook offers an ingredient that has been missing in the enormous outpouring of information on organizations and sustainability: an holistic integration of solutions, which will make the journey personal for each reader.

It is a must-read for anyone trying to make sustainability happen in the real world.
Stuart L. Hart

Educators, leaders and managers: the online Learning Guide makes it easy exciting to use The Sustainable Enterprise Fieldbook as a textbook. This wiki-based dynamic online space brings to life and expands on the book by providing additional cutting-edge practices, exercises, PowerPoint presentations, and cases.

Visit the Living Fieldbook for more supplemental content.

Read an interview with lead author Jeana Wirtenberg in The Record online edition.

Today, managers and leaders of organizations, in both the private sector and civil society, are being challenged as never before to find ways to play a proactive role in addressing the concerns of sustainable development. But they are often overwhelmed by a bombardment of conflicting messages from the media, shareholders, customers, employees, and NGOs. The Sustainable Enterprise Fieldbook helps managers deal with this confusion. It teaches them how to strike a better balance, moving from an “either/or” mind-set to one that holistically embraces social, environmental and economic issues simultaneously. It addresses the “what” (“what is a sustainable strategy for  a company or organization?”) as well as the “how” (“how do we go about building a sustainable enterprise?”).

The Sustainable Enterprise Fieldbook has been put together by an outstanding network of experts from business (Microsoft, Sony, Philips, and AIG), consultancies, and academia. Its aim is to teach and guide leaders, managers, practitioners, students, and professors in every sector of society, and in every industry, in creating a successful and sustainable enterprise. By making the steps needed clear, understandable, and simple to follow, the book naturally engages readers in their journey and encourages their participation in three key ways: by increasing their understanding and awareness of what sustainability means at a conceptual and practical, as well as a personal, level; by energizing and expanding people’s commitment to building sustainable enterprises; and by providing readers with extensive tools and techniques so they can individually and collectively take actions that will improve the social, environmental, and economic performance of their organizations in both the short and long term.

Each chapter of the book illustrates through models, tools, cases, stories, and examples from a wide range of companies how to integrate sustainability into the day-to-day realities of running a business. Managers are coached, facilitated, and guided to enable them to create a better balance between the short and long term, to help them to become change agents in their organizations and to provide answers to the question “How do I make a difference?” Some of the areas covered are leadership, strategy, managing change, employee engagement, metrics and measurement, networks, and globalization.

Readers of The Sustainable Enterprise Fieldbook will find access to the innovative Living Fieldbook , which is an online community support service providing ongoing updated assistance in building a sustainable enterprise.

The Sustainable Enterprise Fieldbook offers an ingredient that has been missing in the enormous outpouring of information on organizations and sustainability: an holistic integration of solutions, which will make the journey personal for each reader.


4/4 (“must-read”). Overall, this book is a very user-friendly and practical book on sustainability. It is well written and comprehensive, very clear and concise in its explanations and applicable examples. The key challenge the editors continually ask themselves and the reader is “what more can be done?” The first thing to do is to read, understand and follow The Sustainable Enterprise Fieldbook.
Michael Williams, Professor, The Eli Broad College of Business, Michigan State University, in People & Strategy 31.3 (Fall 2008) Read the full review (PDF)

What follows is a sampling of green business materials — books, magazines, DVDs, and web sites — available today … a couple engage the scientific, vexingly complex aspects of business greening and would belong on a sustainability manager's desk (e.g., The Sustainable Enterprise Fieldbook) … [The Sustainable Enterprise Fieldbook is] essential for most collections … Aiming to identify the gaps between current and future practices in such areas as leadership and employee relations, this dense collection of essays by experts is a gold mine for larger, deeper collections.


“When you step back and look at our take–make–waste industrial system in the harsh realities of the larger (and ever more constraining) natural world, you start to understand the profound depth and scope of the problem, which can paralyze rather than energize the changes needed. Managers everywhere desperately need books like The Sustainable Enterprise Fieldbook in order to get started on the journey.”
Peter Senge, founder of SoL (Society for Organizational Learning); Senior Lecturer, Behavioral and Policy Sciences, MIT Sloan School of Management; author of The Fifth Discipline and co-author of The Necessary Revolution

This brilliant collection of essays lays the foundation for building a sustainable society. All boards of directors and their leadership should make this book required reading.
Warren Bennis, Professor, University of Southern California; co-author of two recent books, Judgment: How Great Leaders Make Winning Calls (with Noel Tichy) and Transparency: How Leaders Create a Culture of Candor (with Dan Goleman and Jim O’Toole)

In recent years, we have been inundated with books focused on the content aspects of sustainable business. Few, however, provide any useful guidance on how to effectively implement sustainability in a real organization. The Sustainable Enterprise Fieldbook fills this virtual void by focusing on the human side of sustainable enterprise — the organizational, behavioral, and even cognitive challenges. It is a must-read for anyone trying to make sustainability happen in the real world.
Stuart L. Hart, S.C. Johnson Professor of Sustainable Global Enterprise, Cornell University; author of Capitalism at the Crossroads

The Sustainable Enterprise Fieldbook is a compendium of activities, cases, tools, and principles on which to establish the organization of the future. The dedicated authors adapt principles of leadership, strategy, measurement, employee engagement, change, and globalization to the challenges of building sustainable enterprises. Their work synthesizes and extends theory, research, and practice in this important domain. This Fieldbook is both a good introduction and a thorough exploration of how to create a better social, economic, and environmental world that affects us all.
Dave Ulrich, Professor, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan; Partner, The RBL Group

The most comprehensive sourcebook for leaders, managers, practitioners and all those committed to working within their communities and organizations to nudge the human family toward sustainable societies, living in peace with each other and nature.
Hazel Henderson, author of Ethical Markets: Growing the Green Economy; President, Ethical Markets Media, LLC, USA and Brazil

In the current groundswell of Earth community ideals and initiatives, The Sustainable Enterprise Fieldbook must surely count among the most realistic and practical. Its value will become apparent in the months and years ahead.
Thomas Berry, Historian, Geologian, and author of The Dream of the Earth and The Great Work

It is a magical moment, indeed, when a competency meets a true need. The Sustainable Enterprise Fieldbook has managed such a moment. The wide-gauge competency of Dr. Jeana Wirtenberg, William Russell and Dr. David Lipsky weave a pragmatic “how to” for every manager now focused on creating and nurturing their own “sustainable enterprise”. The “fieldbook” aspect assures the “how to do it” insights — easily accessed and understood — which will permit every caring manager to get it done in the name of “sustainable”.
Bob Danzig, Former CEO, Hearst Newspapers; Author/Speaker/Professor

This Fieldbook opens the door for business leaders and managers to the most appropriate and practical pathway for themselves and their enterprises to forge a more sustainable future. It takes us on a thoughtful journey through the eyes of 29 passionate, experienced practitioners inspiring us all to step up to the plate, create a plan, and move forward with velocity, intention, and commitment. It provides the tools, cases, best practices, learnings, and understandings — at once profound and practical — to equip and enable every manager and leader to play a role in the reinvention of the world.
Georg Kell, Executive Head, UN Global Compact

I love this book! This book, or rather this enterprise, is the fruit of a collaboration among dozens of practitioners, businesspeople, and scholars — no wonder it's so useful. Their holistic vision has produced a cornucopia of actionable tools and information for audiences in multiple contexts. And timely too! Generations of children to come, who will surely be educated beyond the old dichotomies of the industrial era, will thank these writers.
Hilary Bradbury-Huang, Editor in Chief, Action Research; and University of Southern California, Director, Sustainable Business Research ProgramsCenter for Sustainable Cities

The bottom line and promoting a sustainable environment are no longer mutually exclusive. Sustainability is good business, but many do not know where to begin. The Sustainable Enterprise Fieldbook fills that gap and provides a clear and concise roadmap that will benefit any organization in meeting the challenges of getting to a more sustainable future.
Robert J. Garagiola, Maryland State Senator; recipient of awards from national organizations, including the Interstate Renewable Energy Council and the American Solar Energy Society, for his work on renewable energy and conservation efforts

“Sustainability” is not a familiar word or concept for Japanese companies yet, but I’m sure this book will raise the awareness of the importance of sustainability in Japanese society. As an HR manager in charge of leadership programs, I realized that I have missed some important points in planning and organizing the programs. I do hope the Japanese translation will be available soon so that many of my co-workers can study this important topic.
Ayako Hotta, Training and Development Manager, Sony Corporation, Tokyo, Japan

The Sustainable Enterprise Fieldbook offers a well-balanced blend of academic research, practical perspectives, and real-life examples proving that sustainability and business objectives can be aligned. With a well-organized structure the Fieldbook guides the reader through the process of rebuilding an organization into a sustainable enterprise. The essays presented in this book are accompanied by a number of easy-to-use tools for the future-looking leader.
Jakub Sovina, Sr HR Manager, Oncology Europe, Novartis Pharma AG, Basel, Switzerland

An extraordinary group of 29 thought leaders came together to brainstorm what sustainable enterprise is and how to make it happen in the real world. Humbled, fascinated and inspired by each other, they took the field to new levels. The result is this book, filled with not only analysis, cases, and tools, but also activities and pointers to online spaces for continuing dialog. Wow! Read it.
Gifford Pinchot III, President, Bainbridge Graduate Institute, Bainbridge Island, Washington, DC

Georg Kell, Executive Head, UN Global Compact


Part I
Understanding reality: our context for The Sustainable Enterprise Fieldbook

Introduction and overview

Jeana Wirtenberg, William G. Russell, and David Lipsky
This item available in PDF format for free download     Download

Part II
Preparing the foundation for a sustainable enterprise

Chapter 1
Leadership for a sustainable enterprise
Richard N. Knowles, Daniel F. Twomey, Karen J. Davis, and Shakira Abdul-Ali

Chapter 2
Mental models for sustainability
John D. Adams, Linda M. Kelley, Beth Applegate, and Theresa McNichol

Chapter 3
Developing a sustainability strategy
Joel Harmon, Flynn Bucy, Susan Nickbarg, Govi Rao, and Jeana Wirtenberg.

Part III
Embracing and managing change sustainably

Chapter 4
Managing the change to a sustainable enterprise
Gregory S. Andriate and Alexis A. Fink

Chapter 5
Employee engagement for a sustainable enterprise
Kent D. Fairfield, Richard N. Knowles, William G. Russell, Jeana Wirtenberg, Sangeeta Mahurkar-Rao, and Orrin D. Judd

Chapter 6
Sustainable enterprise metrics and measurement systems
William G. Russell, Shakira Abdul-Ali, Gil Friend, and David Lipsky

Part IV
Connecting, integrating, and aligning toward the future

Chapter 7
Sustainable globalization: the challenge and the opportunity
Victoria G. Axelrod, Joel Harmon, William G. Russell, and Jeana Wirtenberg

Chapter 8
Transorganizational collaboration and sustainability networks
William G. Russell, Jenny Ambrozek., Victoria G. Axelrod, Jane Carbonaro, and Linda M. Kelley

Part V
When it all comes together

Chapter 9
A new beginning: when it all comes together
Jeana Wirtenberg, David Lipsky, and William G. Russell

Coda. An invitation to participate with us in the Living Fieldbook

Glossary of terms
Author biographies

Jeana Wirtenberg, PhD, Institute for Sustainable Enterprise, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Madison, NJ, USA
Wirtenberg is Co-founder and Director, External Relations & Services, Institute for Sustainable Enterprise (ISE) in the Silberman College of Business at Fairleigh Dickinson University. Her work at the Institute focuses on bringing people together to learn how to develop and lead thriving, sustainable enterprises that are “in and for the world.” She was a lead author on the recent worldwide study Creating a Sustainable Future: A Global Study of Current Trends and Possibilities 2007– 2017, sponsored by the American Management Association. With ISE colleagues, Wirtenberg is principal designer of the three-day manager workshop Green Leadership: Implementing Sustainability Strategies for the American Management Association.

Wirtenberg is President of Jeana Wirtenberg & Associates, a consulting firm that focuses on building sustainable enterprises through leadership, culture change, collaboration, and learning. Formerly, she was HR Director at Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG), where she was responsible for a variety of initiatives designed to transform the firm and build organizational capacity.

She held positions in AT&T Human Resources and Marketing, and led research programs at the National Institute of Education and the US Commission on Civil Rights.

Wirtenberg co-edited Sex Role Research: Measuring Social Change (Praeger, 1983) and a special issue of Psychology of Women Journal: Women and the Future. Her articles have appeared in numerous journals including Human Resource Planning, Organization Development, and Journal of Applied Behavioral Science. She serves as the Organization Effectiveness Articles Editor for People & Strategy Journal and is on the leadership team of the Global Community for the Future of OD. Wirtenberg received her PhD with honors in Psychology at the University of California at Los Angeles.

William G. Russell, President, SKN Worldwide–USA Inc., Leonia, NJ, USA
Russell is a leader in advancing sustainable development-aligned strategies and management systems. He has worked with a broad range of worldwide clients including small and large corporations, government and intergovernmental organizations, NGOs, nonprofits, and universities. In 2003, he founded SKN Worldwide–USA, a sustainability consulting and technology services company. In 2004, he founded the Sustainability Knowledge Network (SKN), a collaborative workspace portal to educate and integrate diverse communities of people and engage stakeholder organizations working to implement collaborative projects and programs that advance sustainability.

Russell is also affiliated with the Generation Consulting Group and the Institute for Sustainable Enterprise and Sustainable Business Incubator at Fairleigh Dickinson University where he works to support start-up companies with strategic advice and funding. Prior to founding SKN, he served as the US leader for environmental services at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Russell is on the advisory boards of Innovest Strategic Value Advisors, an environmental and intangible-value risk ratings company and Four Corners International, a company specializing in developing new technologies that address climate change, sustainability, and globalization issues. He is also an external board member emeritus of the University of Michigan’s Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise. He received his BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Maryland and his MBA from Rutgers University.


David Lipsky, PhD, Conversant, Highland Mills, NY, USA
Lipsky is a senior consultant with Conversant. He has over 20 years of experience in building organizational and leadership capabilities that contribute to business success and personal growth. He has accomplished this by focusing on the potential and possibilities of the people and businesses he has worked with and using his extensive experience in strategic alignment, leadership development, and organizational transformation.

Lipsky has had the opportunity to work with many organizations in a variety of industries, including Sony, Unilever, United Technologies, Bank of America, Alpharma, KPMG Peat Marwick, and Merrill Lynch.

Lipsky is also an Associate Professor at Manhattanville College. He has lectured and authored articles and book chapters on internal consulting, organizational development, and sustainability. Lipsky received his undergraduate degree from Cornell University in Human Ecology and received a PhD in Applied Psychology from Hofstra University, focusing on leadership effectiveness and success.