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Changing Business from the Inside Out
Buy now

Changing Business from the Inside Out

A Treehugger’s Guide to Working in Corporations 

Timothy J. Mohin
May 2012   262+xviii pp   234 x 156 mm  
paperback   ISBN 978-1-906093-70-9   £17.50  

Alternative formats: eBook (ePub)   eBook (PDF)

Review copies   Inspection copies

Activists can accomplish more for the planet and society by serving as a voice of responsibility within the corporation rather than waving placards outside the factory gates. Corporations are clearly the drivers of the world economy, and the corporate responsibility practitioner has an essential role in bringing ethical and sustainable values to the C-suite.

North American customers: order from Berrett-Koehler Publishers .

Read "Occupy From the Inside", Tim Mohin's piece in the Huffington Post

Read an interview with Tim by dukenvironment magazine

Preview samples    Preface


Corporate responsibility is considered an oxymoron by much of society. Corporations are among the least trusted of our institutions; and the 2008 financial crisis, BP’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and the collapse of the house of cards that was Enron have only added to public skepticism.

So, at a time when trust in corporations has reached an all-time low, why is interest in corporate responsibility at an all-time high? A plausible explanation is that increasing numbers of stakeholders are demanding responsibility from corporations. Hyper-transparency of corporate activities, fueled by disclosure laws and the Internet, has increased awareness to the point where corporate behavior is under constant scrutiny. Smart business leaders are aware of this scrutiny and of the high costs of a public scandal. They know that in the long run it is cheaper to act responsibly now than to dig out from a PR disaster later.

Tim Mohin is a veteran corporate responsibility practitioner who has led programs at Apple, Intel, and AMD. In this book, Tim tells us why he believes he is making a difference where it counts and how others can do the same. His book is a manual on how to steer the corporate supertanker toward doing good for people and our planet.

Changing Business from the Inside Out provides a fascinating roadmap to the corporate responsibility and sustainability field, from beginning a career, to forming a program, to navigating the complicated politics of a corporation. Mohin likens the corporate treehugger role to “being the designated driver at the corporate cocktail party.” Throughout his book, he argues strongly that activists can accomplish more for the planet and society by serving as a voice of responsibility within the corporation rather than protesting outside the factory gates. Corporations are clearly the drivers of the world economy, and the corporate responsibility practitioner has an essential role in bringing ethical and sustainable values to the C-suite and making sure that they are accomplished.

Whether you are a practitioner needing advice, a mid-career professional wanting to change course, or an MBA wondering how to incorporate responsibility into your career, this book has the answers you need.


This is one of the most valuable and useful guides to working in Corporate Responsibility (CR) written to date. Tim uses his extensive experience working in organisations such as the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Intel, Apple, and currently AMD to provide practical tools and advice to not only those seeking to enter the sector but also to seasoned CR professionals and business leaders. The guide is well organised and methodically covers all of the crucial areas that CR personnel need to consider when developing and implementing successful environmental, social and governance initiatives. It begins by closely analysing the required skills, competencies and personality traits that are essential for an individual interested in working in the sector.

After that, it transitions to provide an overview of key CR areas such as environment, suppliers, communications, stakeholders, employees, diversity and governance. It does not pretend to provide an in-depth look at all of the issues but rather a hands-on guide with real-life examples and easy step by step tips on how to start developing successful CR strategies and impactful programs. The fact that this book is written by an insider, someone who has implemented these types of activities in some of the world’s leading corporations, sets it apart from many of the other books that speak to case studies and theories. This guide is a recommended must-read as it inspires the reader to action with its invaluable insights and lessons learned.
Jennifer Roynon, CSR International Book Review Digest 4.5 (May 2012)


What does one do to get a job in the field of corporate social responsibility? And moreover, how do you excel at something so nebulous and undefined? ... Turns out, Changing Business from the Inside Out: A Treehugger's Guide to Working in Corporations is the handbook I was looking for. Written by Tim Mohin, Director of Corporate Responsibility at AMD, the book offers critical pieces of advice and practical tips for current and aspiring professionals who believe they can make a difference through their careers ... In this vacuum of trust in the marketplace, Mohin's book is a much-needed antidote for professionals and students who want to restore our economy, while protecting the environment and benefitting society, but lack the practical advice.
Aman Singh, CSRwire Talkback, 16 August 2012 Full article


Timothy J Mohin, who describes himself as a "tree hugger" has brilliantly profiled the role of an active CSR Manager. In his book Changing Business from the Inside Out: A Treehugger’s Guide to Working in Corporations he says that an active CSR Manager can accomplish more for the planet and society by serving as a voice of responsibility within the corporation.”The CR Practitioner has an essential role in bringing ethical and sustainable value to the C Suite and making sure that they are accomplished”. The book offers the much required perspective and guide useful both to one aspiring for a career in CSR as also the more experienced manager trying to put together a CSR programme. For aspiring CSR Managers in India who are interested in using the power of business to change the world for the better this is a must read book. Written by one who has been in the front lines of corporate change making it is a user’s guide and a constructive toolkit for successfully doing good while doing well.
Suresh Kr Pramar, Trainer, Writer, CSR Consultant; Executive Director, Centre for Training & Research in Responsible Business


Tim Mohin’s career has shown how business activity can create great outcomes for the world, as well as for companies. Now he has provided an essential roadmap for anyone who wants to shape a career that shapes the world. Changing Business from the Inside Out shows how to make real change happen – and should be essential reading for anyone who wants to build a meaningful career.
Aron Cramer, CEO, Business for Social Responsibility


Never one to shy from a challenge, Tim Mohin captures the essence of the opportunity each of us has to make a tangible, measureable, impactful difference working as part of a for-profit enterprise. With this book, there is no longer a need to repeat the learning curve many of us traced in setting the table for our successors.

Find the right company. Take the initiative. Strike the balance between permission and forgiveness.

Let Tim show you the way to live your values while working from inside.
Mark Spears, Director, Sustainable Business Practices, Disney Consumer Products; Lead Corporate Director, The Sustainability Consortium Board of Directors


The line between a “tree hugger” and a hard-nosed, profit-seeking businessperson is getting very blurry. Tim Mohin walks right on that line. The transformation of business to sustainable operations has begun, and all companies need to learn from those few and proud executives who have been at the front lines for years. When I set out to interview experts for my book Green to Gold, Tim was one of my first stops. His new book will show you why.
Andrew Winston, sustainability strategist; co-author of Green to Gold


Mohin draws upon his 20 years of experience to deliver a book that is equally inspiring and practical. Changing Business from the Inside Out: A Treehugger’s Guide to Working in Corporations comes at a time when expectations for for-profit companies to do the right thing have never been higher and is a must-read for anyone working a corporate job, as change is all of our responsibility.
Darrell Hammond, Founder and CEO, KaBOOM! NYT bestselling author of KaBOOM! How One Man Built a Movement to Save Play


More than a roadmap for would-be sustainability professionals, Mohin shows any business leader – or anyone looking to influence companies – that to make a lasting impact CSR efforts must align with a firm’s core values, tactics must be vetted by key internal and external stakeholders, and benefits must ring true with customers. Tim’s wit, candor and insight transform this from an operator’s manual into a good read. His reputation as a collaborative and seasoned leader jumps off the pages here.
Mark Newton, Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility, The Timberland Company


Management guru Peter Drucker challenged those in business to look beyond conventional measures of success and to ask themselves, “What do you want to be remembered for?” For those in business or contemplating a career in the private sector, Tim Mohin offers a user’s guide and a constructive toolkit for successfully pursuing a path to doing good while doing well. Written by a pioneering practitioner who shares lessons from the trenches, Tim not only shares his valuable experience as an environmental champion but also supplies a detailed and disciplined approach to achieving results from within the corporation. He proves that business, when done right, can indeed be an instrument for good, and that a new generation of passionate and competent managers can change the corporate DNA in a way that achieves value for shareholders and society alike. This is a book not for dreamers but for doers – doers who want to produce quantifiable and meaningful results. Applying Tim’s lessons and techniques offers those who accept Drucker’s challenge to leave a legacy of doing good work that offers both professional fulfillment and lasting value for society.
Ira A. Jackson, Distinguished Scholar, MIT Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship; former Dean, Peter Drucker and Masatoshi Ito School of Management, Claremont Colleges; co-author (with Jane Nelson) of Profits with Principles: Seven Strategies for Delivering Value with Values


Transformational change can happen anytime and it can start anywhere. Tim Mohin’s Changing Business from the Inside Out is a practical handbook for leaders who want to make change happen in small and large ways at work. It is a unique guide seasoned by experience, informed by proven expertise, and inspired by real results.
Mark Pinsky, President & CEO, Opportunity Finance Network


Tim really delivers on the promise of the book: namely, a practical guide to making a positive social or environmental impact while working inside a company. He has expertly identified many of the key strategies for success in that kind of role as well as the potential missteps that can be taken. The bonus is that Tim delivers all of this information in a thoroughly engaging manner that conveys his passion for the subject.
Bruce Klafter, CSO AMAT


This is the ultimate insider’s guide, from someone who has been at the front lines of corporate change-making at some of the world’s biggest companies. Whether you are starting your career or seeking to infuse your current one with meaning and purpose, whether you’re a business leader or simply hope to become one, this is the roadmap you’ll need to succeed.
Joel Makower, publisher of


At a time when more and more people are entering the workforce with the intention of making a contribution to people and the planet, Tim Mohin has written a timely and important book. Changing Business from the Inside Out provides practical, hands-on advice gleaned from nearly 30 years of experience. As a Net Impact board member and an experienced business leader, Tim is able to seamlessly weave the critical needs of the business with the desires of today’s young people into a valuable guide for a career with impact.
Liz Maw, Executive Director, Net Impact


A thoughtfully written roadmap for the beginner or expert corporate responsibility practitioner.
Tod Arbogast, Vice President, Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility, Avon Products, Inc.


Ever-younger generations of leaders are changing the way society operates. Business and society are inextricably linked. As society changes, so must business. Changing Business from the Inside Out will guide the business leaders of today and tomorrow to work with companies in order to effect great and lasting change. If you are or aspire to become a leader of corporations I urge you to buy, read, and use this book!
Eric Lowitt, author of The Future of Value


A compelling behind-the-scenes guide to being an effective internal change agent, this book is a must-read for any recent MBA graduate or business professional entering the field of Corporate Responsibility. Companies are critical market actors in our overdue transition to a sustainable global economy, and Changing Business from the Inside Out demonstrates how you can leverage your passion and expertise to implement a strong CR program and sustainable business strategy.
Mindy Lubber, President and CEO, Ceres


Changing Business from the Inside Out is the essential how-to handbook for anyone working in, or aspiring to work in, corporate responsibility. Mohin shares insights, inspiration, and invaluable lessons learned from his 20-year career on the front lines of this evolving field. Many sustainability books tell us why business should be more sustainable; happily, this one tells us how.
Katie Kross, author, Profession and Purpose: A Resource Guide for MBA Careers in Sustainability


Changing Business from the Inside Out provides a unique and much-needed perspective and guide that is useful for both people looking for Corporate Responsibility (CR) career advice and more experienced managers trying to start their own CR program. Having come of age in the CR field in the same era as Tim, I have had many, many people reach out for CR career advice over the years asking questions about how I got into the CR field and what skills they will need to be successful. Changing Business from the Inside Out nails these questions and goes on to provide an in-depth guide for developing a CR program. I wish his book had been available when I was building my program and will definitely refer people calling for career and CR field advice to this book. 
Mark Heintz, Director – Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability, Deckers Outdoor Corporation


The ability to “lead from within” is a prerequisite for success in today’s business environment. From the new employee to the C-suite, Tim Mohin has written a great guidebook for those working to drive sustainability from within their company.
Dave Stangis, Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility, Campbell Soup Company


Finally, a book from the practitioner who has been inside the trenches for 20+ years. A valuable resource for any sustainability professional. A valuable resource for any jobseeker seeking to get into the sustainability profession. Tim has been in the trenches long enough to fill a book with stories. Tim uncovers the challenges that a chief sustainability officer faces.
Ellen Weinreb, CEO, WEINREB Group Sustainability Recruiting


There are many ways to be a force for corporate responsibility and sustainability, but none more powerful than when from within companies that matter. Tim Mohin’s bold new book takes us with him into the belly of the beast and as he aligns progressive values with business interests in ways that improve the world. Mohin’s message is that it can be done – and he shows us how.
Bennett Freeman, Senior Vice President for Sustainability Research and Policy, Calvert Investments


A hands-on guide for anyone looking to align their work with their values. This is how you grow and differentiate your career, deliver impact at work, and create positive change the world.
Jo Mackness, Executive Director, Center for Responsible Business, University of California Berkeley-Haas School of Business


So many business books are written from the outside looking in. As an executive at Intel, Apple, and AMD, Tim Mohin has seen corporate America from the inside – and he has done a masterful job of turning his experience into a readable, insightful, and valuable guide for anyone who wants to use the power of business to change the world for the better. Bravo!
Marc Gunther, contributing editor at Fortune and senior writer at


Tim Mohin uses his personal career experiences as “teaching moments” to illustrate so powerfully the many “lessons learned” throughout the book. This book brings new insights and provides exceptional value for both those seeking a career in corporate responsibility, and for established CR practitioners. Changing Business form the Inside Out offers practical, proven methods for building support, dealing with resistance, adapting to change, and manifesting strong leadership skills that are so essential for success.
Clifford Bast, Managing Director for Bast SUSTAINGROUP LLC; former Global Leader of Hewlett-Packard’s Environmental/Product Stewardship/Sustainability program


This book serves not only as a stimulating guide for those entering the field of CSR, but should be read by corporate leaders. As corporations continue to have a larger impact on society, it is an excellent tutorial for decision makers. Managing the triple bottom line is not that difficult and should be embraced rather than ignored.
Bill Sheppard, Former Vice President and Director of Corporate Services, Intel Corporation


Long before corporate social responsibility was in vogue, Tim Mohin was using his experiences and influence within companies to achieve the greater good. In Changing Business from the Inside Out, he shares his philosophical and practical advice with individuals and companies alike to help you leave your own positive mark on the world.
Allyson Peerman, Corporate Vice President, Public Affairs, AMD


Anyone who has met the Mohin family or worked with Tim would expect that this is the kind of book that Tim Mohin would write. In Changing Business from the Inside Out, Tim shows how to run a business with the same values that you aspire to see in your own family and which communities expect of the corporations that provide employment and economic value. This book is about building and supporting successful businesses that make a lasting and positive impression on the world around them and that recognize that business must value more than the single bottom line.
Susan MacCormac, Chair of Business Department and Cleantech Group, Morrison & Foerster (2011 California Lawyer of the Year); and Andy Taylor, Senior Consultant, Energy & Environmental Economics


Tim’s work focuses squarely on the much-needed sustainability unlock: showing each and every one of us how we can embed it in our everyday lives, leverage the power of ourselves, and the organizations for which we work, to change the world. Perfect and powerful.
Dr. Kellie A. McElhaney, Alexander Faculty Fellow in Corporate Responsibility, Center for Responsible Business, Haas School of Business at University of California, Berkeley


After spending years writing and researching about careers in corporate social responsibility and sustainability, I’ve come to realize that anyone with passion, ethical judgment, and an understanding of her environment can be a CSR professional. In fact, there shouldn’t be one CSR executive in every company but dozens.

However, becoming a CSR practitioner takes a certain level of understanding. That’s where Tim’s book fills in the gap for aspiring professionals and jobseekers who want to use their careers to make a difference. There are few executives like Tim who understand the reality of working within corporate corridors knowing that the going will be tough yet continue to persevere because they know it’s the right thing to do. There is much to be learned from this book for its emphasis on critical thinking and practical sense. It should be a compulsory handbook for graduating college seniors who must understand the consequences of their future actions.
Aman Singh, CSR Journalist and Editorial Director, CSRwire


An inspiring, insightful and insider’s under-the-cover view of corporate social responsibility and sustainability. Tim Mohin shares a wealth of practical tips and approaches grounded in over 20 years of front-line experience in some of the most demanding of corporate settings. A must-read book for those looking to embark on a career in this arena, or reference guide for existing practitioners. Tim’s book not only articulates the compelling business case for companies to excel in this area, but lays out thoughtful guidance on a framework of how-to actions and key considerations to weigh for long-term success.
Alex Heard, Vice President Environmental Health and Safety, First Solar


This item available in PDF format for free download     Download

Introduction: The Case for Corporate Responsibility

1. The Department of Good Works
2. Skills for Success in Corporate Responsibility
3. Setting the Strategy
4. Running a Data-Driven Program
5. Environmental Sustainability
6. Supplier Responsibility Part 1: Establishing the Program
7. Supplier Responsibility Part 2: The Four Essential Program Elements
8. Communicate! Part 1: Talking about Corporate Responsibility
9. Communicate! Part 2: The Corporate Responsibility Report and Beyond
10. Stakeholders and Investors
11. Employee Engagement
12. Diversity, Governance and Ethics
13. Recognition, Awards and Rankings
14. Match your Passion to your Profession

Tim Mohin is the Director of Corporate Responsibility at Advanced Micro Devices (AMD). He is responsible for the company’s overall corporate responsibility strategy, performance and communications. Prior to joining AMD, Tim advised executives at Fortune 500 companies as the lead sustainability consultant for EORM.

Formerly, Tim led Apple’s Supplier Responsibility program. Tim also had a 12-year career with Intel Corporation where he held several positions including Director of Sustainable Development, and Global Environmental Manager. Before joining Intel, Tim worked for ten years in the United States federal government with both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. EPA where he worked on the 1990 amendments to the Clean Air Act and other environmental laws and regulations.

Tim has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Biology from the State University of New York at Cortland and a master’s degree in Environmental Management from Duke University.

Read Tim’s blog posts at and follow Tim on Twitter @TimMohinAMD.