Advance Praise

Bob Willard has written a stunning compilation of experience-based wisdom: his and that of other leaders who have done real things to work towards organizational change and sustainability in business. The Sustainability Champion’s Guidebook is spot on for all levels of an organization, from high-level vision right down to individual, personal behavior. Read this book to jump-start or speed your journey to a better future.

― Ray Anderson, Founder and Chairman, Interface Inc.,
and author of Mid-Course Correction

“Sustainability” is what needs to be changed but then there is the matter of how to go about implementing such a dramatic shift so that its benefits are fully realized. This book goes beyond explaining the basics of sustainability; it outlines key issues that surface when navigating the human landscape of such an endeavor. It doesn’t just advocate what to change; it addresses how to manage the change itself.

― Daryl Conner, Chairman, Conner Partners,
and author of Managing at the Speed of Change
and Leading at the Edge of Chaos


Like all good writers, Bob Willard has put into words what we know but haven’t been able to articulate: Sustainability has moved beyond changing the mindset of management to become a mainstream driver of innovation and competitive advantage if you have the know-how to act on it. In The Sustainability Champion’s Guidebook, Willard provides an easy-to-use manual for managers. Readers will find practical sign-posts and experience-tested recommendations for how to lead sustainability efforts in any organization. By applying the wisdom of this book, readers will find new ways to create sustainable value – value that is good for society and the environment, and even better for customers and shareholders than would otherwise be the case. A must-read during times of economic crisis.

― Chris Laszlo, Managing Partner, Sustainable Value Partners,
and author of The Sustainable Company and Sustainable Value


If you are working to implement sustainability in your organization then you simply must read this book. It provides clear guidance and simple, yet powerful, advice for getting the job done. Bob writes with wisdom based on experience.

― Andrew W. Savitz, author of The Triple Bottom Line

If you don’t understand the big system on which your own organization is dependent, you are probably not a leader. To step up to leadership requires competence rather than a change of values. Most people would like more skills on managing innovation, mitigating risk, and community building to address the dominant ustainability challenges of our time.  Bob Willard doesn’t turn to those who still haven’t got it but to those who need to know how to get on with it ― from envisioning to structuring, through elegant transition processes, all in an easy-to-get hands-on manual.  It’s the best out there.

― Karl-Henrik Robèrt, Founder of The Natural Step
and author of The Natural Step Story


After reading Bob’s book there is an eerie sense that I feel he knows me or, for that matter, any other sustainability manager that is fighting for the cause of introducing sustainability within their business. It is a compelling read for those who are just starting their journey up Mount Sustainability, graphically pointing out the likely encounters that you will experience along the way. And for those like myself who started their journey with just the bare essentials of The Natural Step Framework, this book brings to life all those subliminal thoughts that make you think that Bob was right behind you the whole time.

― Dr Jason Leadbitter, Sustainability Manager, Ineos ChlorVinyls


The road to a green economy requires leaders from all sectors of society and from all levels inside companies. And leaders need clear, concise guidance on how to quickly and effectively transform company culture, products, and services for the good of the bottom line and the world. Bob Willard provides a roadmap for effective leadership that is both authoritative and accessible. Corporate sustainability evolution just clicked into overdrive.

― Joel Makower, Executive Editor,,
and author of Strategies for the Green Economy


Happily, mainstream business education schools are finally embracing sustainable development. They help future company leaders understand how socially and environmentally responsible business decisions benefit performance in corporate, government, and non-profit organizations. Understanding is one thing; making it happen is another. Bob Willard’s new book is the perfect companion text of leadership tips and techniques for business leaders aspiring to lead the next industrial revolution. It should be a compulsory text in all business schools.

― Hunter Lovins, Founder and President, Natural Capitalism, Inc.,
and co-author of Natural Capitalism and Factor Four


The trilogy is complete!  After inspiring us with his first two books on the “why” of corporate sustainability (the business case for sustainable development), Bob Willard has completed the trilogy with an excellent book on the “how”, The Sustainability Champion’s Guidebook.  Full of practical and proven advice for leading the transformation from within organizations, this book can transform you too —  into a successful champion.  Read it; absorb it; do it!

― Brian Kelly, Director, Sustainable Enterprise Academy,
Schulich School of Business, York University


All over the world, Boards of Directors are starting to take account of sustainability issues – financial, commercial and environmental – as they never have before.  The big question now is “how?” not “why?”  The role of a company’s Sustainability Champion has never been more important, across the company as a whole rather than in some narrow functional sense.  Hence the need for this guidebook – from one of the most experienced sustainability practitioners on the block.

― Jonathon Porritt, Founder Director, Forum for the Future,
and Chairman, UK Sustainable Development Commission

Concise, comprehensive, and compelling, this book distills a tremendous amount of theoretical and practical information into a well-chiseled guide that is exceedingly useful ― and wise.

― Alan AtKisson, author of Believing Cassandra and The ISIS Agreement


Bob Willard is a champion guide.  Learn how to keep your organization on today’s rails, but also help lay new ones—exploring future pathways to real value and wealth.

― John Elkington, Co-Founder of ENDS, SustainAbility, and Volans,
and author of The Power of Unreasonable People and The Phoenix Economy

Creating sustainable organizations is one of the most urgent and important missions of our time, and yet the sheer enormity of the challenge can overwhelm even the most committed. But not Bob Willard. In The Sustainability Champion’s Guidebook, his newest book on this vital issue, Bob embraces the challenge with passion, energy, and determination. With his veteran’s insight, Bob offers clear steps, proven practices, and keen insights on actions that concerned champions can take, and pitfalls they should avoid, to transform their companies from laggards to leaders in sustainability.  His real world experience and his deep understanding of the subject are evident throughout the practical tips that he offers on nearly every page. The Sustainability Champion’s Guidebook is not a book that you should just buy; it’s a book that you must use. Now. We don’t have time to wait.

― Jim Kouzes, Dean’s Executive Professor of Leadership,
Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University,
and co-author of The Leadership Challenge


After a decade of focusing on the why and what of business sustainability, Bob Willard has finally given us the missing piece of the puzzle– how to do it.  The days of waiting for the CEO to drive change are over. The sustainability revolution will be led by committed champions who achieve impact beyond their titles and formal roles. In The Sustainability Champion’s Guidebook, you will find the hands-on practices, processes, and techniques needed to drive the transformation to sustainability in your organization.

― Stuart L. Hart, S.C. Johnson Chair in Sustainable Global Enterprise,
the Johnson School, Cornell University,
and author of Capitalism at the Crossroads


Sustainability professionals have long understood that helping organizations become more sustainable is a formidable change management challenge. Bob Willard is a catalyst for this type of change and in this book he uses his methodical, frank, and engaging style to provide the reader with considerable insight and practical advice on how we too can become champions for change. When you are reading this book I encourage you to think like Bob ― take time to understand the sustainability challenge and how the world works, be open to new ideas and approaches, share the ones you find valuable widely, and most importantly embrace the challenge and act.

― Kevin Brady, Director, Five Winds International


Once again, Bob Willard has provided much-needed, timely insights and advice on how a business can move toward sustainability. This book hits the bull’s-eye.

― Bob Doppelt, Director, Resource Innovations and The Climate Leadership Initiative,
Institute for a Sustainable Environment, University of Oregon,
and author of Leading Change toward Sustainability


Willard’s book is a valuable guide for anyone seeking to integrate principles of sustainability into their organizational culture. It is practical, straightforward, and insightful.  This book is an easy way to access some proven practices for creating sustainable organizations.

― Brian and Mary Nattrass,
authors of The Natural Step for Business and Dancing with the Tiger


This book provides the missing link in the sustainability conversation — a practical guidebook on how to transform your organization through sustainability. Bob Willard has summarized years of experience, insight, and knowledge into a useful tool for those of us struggling to transform sustainability ideas into reality within complex organizations. This is a must read.

― Barb Steele, Director, Canadian Business for Social Responsibility


Just as his previous books have provided the analytical tools to help readers build sustainability into financial management, Bob Willard’s new book brings comparable clarity and practicality to the even more difficult and essential challenge of building sustainability into corporate culture.

― Gil Friend, President and CEO, Natural Logic Inc.,
and author of The Truth About Green Business