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Innovations in Sustainability
Fuel and Food


Award Winner

Part of Organizations and the Natural Environment

  • Date Published: August 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107421110

£ 33.99

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About the Authors
  • To what extent can competition between companies encourage innovations in sustainability that have the potential to solve some of the world's major challenges? Using a series of case studies, this book pits closely related competitors against each other to examine the progress in and obstacles to the evolution of sustainable innovations in energy efficiency, solar power, electric vehicles and hybrids, wind energy, healthy eating, and agricultural productivity. It delves into the efforts of Tesla Motors to bring about a revolution in personal transportation, and the challenges Toyota and General Motors (GM) confront in commercializing hybrids. It explores the movement to healthy food by cereal companies General Mills and Kellogg's, and depicts the battles between Whole Foods and Walmart for the world's palate. By examining the experiences that particular businesses have had with sustainable innovation, this insightful book reflects upon lessons learned and encourages readers to think carefully about the challenges that lie ahead.

    • Twenty open-ended, interrelated cases are used to examine the ongoing challenge of achieving sustainable innovation in some of the world's largest and most prominent organizations; readers are encouraged to join the debate
    • Covers the main activities in the evolutionary stages of innovation, including funding and business model testing, coping with shifts in external conditions, finding new customers and moving sustainable innovations to the mainstream
    • Comprehensively covers questions of which sustainable options are the most promising for investors, and at which stage - early or late - they should back new sustainable companies: in-depth analysis of the choices made by Khosla Ventures and KPCB, and by Intel Capital and Google Ventures
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    • Winner, 2016 Organizations and the Natural Environment (ONE) Division Book Award, Academy of Management

    Reviews & endorsements

    'Innovations in Sustainability covers an enormous amount of ground. … It makes fascinating reading and represents an original and much needed contribution to our understanding of the challenges facing sustainable innovations.' David Vogel, University of California, Berkeley

    'It is becoming abundantly clear that grappling with the challenge of sustainability will become an increasingly pressing issue for many firms and that developing business models at scale that both 'do good and do well' is not an easy proposition. In this fascinating series of case studies Professor Marcus takes us behind the platitudes to detailed accounts of how particular firms struggled with these issues, highlighting stories of both success and failure in a way that provides concrete guidance to managers seeking to build more sustainable businesses.' Rebecca M. Henderson, John and Natty McArthur University Professor, Harvard Business School

    'How can competition encourage innovation in sustainability? In return, how can such innovation transform the competitive landscape? In this insightful book, Alfred A. Marcus integrates his comprehensive knowledge of corporate sustainability with his expertise in corporate strategy to address these questions. Through the investigation of captivating cases drawn from the world's largest and most prominent organizations, he uncovers the paths that firms take to achieve their sustainability goals. A 'must read' for academics, managers, and policy-makers who want to better understand strategies leading to transformative innovation in sustainability.' Magali Delmas, University of California, Los Angeles

    'Innovations in Sustainability represents an important contribution to the growing literature on the theory and practice of sustainable business. As we have seen, the last twenty years of sustainable innovation have been focused on incremental strategies like pollution prevention, eco-efficiency, and social responsibility. These have now been widely adopted and studied extensively. There is little left to learn or explore in this domain. The next twenty years of sustainable innovation will be focused on disruptive and transformational strategies like clean and regenerative technology commercialization, base of the pyramid business, and frugal innovation. As a result, this book by Alfred Marcus stands as a beacon lighting the path toward the next era of sustainable innovation that might truly lead us toward a more sustainable world.' Academy of Management Learning and Education

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2015
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107421110
    • length: 380 pages
    • dimensions: 227 x 152 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.55kg
    • contains: 1 b/w illus. 58 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: the path to sustainability
    Part I. Funding Sustainable Startups:
    1. Leaders of the pack: Khosla Ventures and KPCB
    2. Scaling up: Intel Capital and Google Ventures
    Part II. Business Models:
    3. Follow the sun: First Solar and Suntech
    4. Making a revolution: Tesla and Better Place
    Part III. The Macroenvironment and Industry Context:
    5. Ticket to ride: Toyota and General Motors
    6. Blowing in the wind: Vestas and General Electric
    Part IV. Finding Customers:
    7. Carrying that weight: General Mills and Kellogg's
    8. Bridge over troubled waters: Pepsi and Coke
    Part V. Competition between Mission and Non-Mission-Based Businesses:
    9. Consensus capitalism: Whole Foods and Walmart
    10. Sustainability's next frontier: Dupont and Monsanto
    Concluding observations: the journey continues

  • Author

    Alfred A. Marcus, University of Minnesota
    Alfred A. Marcus is the Edson Spencer Endowed Chair in Strategy and Technological Leadership at the Carlson School of Management and at the Technological Leadership Institute (TLI) College of Science and Engineering, University of Minnesota. He has published in numerous academic journals and he is the author or editor of fifteen books on strategic management, business ethics and green business. His current research focuses on sustainable innovation and clean tech venture capital.


    • Winner, 2016 Organizations and the Natural Environment (ONE) Division Book Award, Academy of Management

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