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The Corporate Responsibility Summer Must-Read for the C-Suite

By Dave Armon

Move over, “Green Giants.” You’ve got company.

The section of my bookshelf reserved for thoughtful contributions from corporate responsibility professionals has just welcomed “All In: The Future of Business Leadership,” written by David Grayson, Chris Coulter and Mark Lee.

While Freya Williams illustrated the powerful benefits sustainability brought to nine businesses profiled in her book “Green Giants” in 2015, this new publication acts as a primer for any C-suite executive in need of a concise yet convincing argument for embracing the triple bottom line – people, planet and profits.

“’All In’ provides a critical contribution to why and how business needs to commit to sustainability at pace and scale in the coming years,” wrote Liz Maw, CEO of Net Impact. “This should be required reading for the next generation of business leader.”

Tracing the history of corporate responsibility through three eras – Harm Reduction, 1997-2005; Strategic Integration, 2006-2015; and Purpose-Driven, 2016 to present – Grayson, Coulter and Lee predict the arrival of a “Regenerative Era.”

“We believe that as we get closer to 2025, there will be a critical mass of companies committing to a circular economy or closed-loop approach to business, as well as a redesign of business models to optimize the economic, environmental, and social positives of all they do,” the authors wrote.

Grayson is the former managing director of Great Britain’s non-profit coalition of companies Business in the Community and emeritus professor of corporate responsibility at the Cranfield School of Management. Coulter is co-CEO of the Toronto-based research firm GlobeScan. Lee is executive director of the consultancy SustainAbility.

During Sustainable Brands, where Coulter graciously gave me a copy of “All In” to read on my plane ride home, we taped a video interview about the book and the growing Brands Taking Stands movement.

“We think that advocacy is speaking out and speaking up for sustainable development and social justice,” said Grayson. See the full interview here.

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Dave Armon is the Chief Executive Officer of 3BL Media, which produces the 3BL Forum and ranks the 100 Best Corporate Citizens. A former journalist, Dave spent 20 years in management at PR Newswire, where he was president and COO.  

Read more stories by Dave Armon