Winston ’91 on Climate Change and Business

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Andrew S. Winston ’91 (Courtesy Harvard Business Review Press)

New book: The Big Pivot: Radically Practical Strategies for a Hotter, Scarcer, and More Open World, by Andrew S. Winston ’91 (Harvard Business Review Press)

The author: Winston is the founder of Winston Eco-Strategies, advising some of the world’s leading companies. He sits on the sustainability advisory boards for Kimberly-Clark, Unilever, and Hewlett-Packard, and is the author of the book Green to Gold. He regularly appears on major media outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and CNBC.

The book: Winston argues that we have passed an economic tipping point: The weakening of the foundations of our planetary infrastructure is costing businesses and putting our society at risk. In particular, he highlights three “mega-challenges” that impact how businesses operate: climate change, scarcity, and transparency. In response to these challenges, Winston provides 10 strategies for leaders and companies that are ready to prepare for, manage, and profit from these changes. This book provides a blueprint with concrete solutions, demonstrated through stories from companies like Unilever, Nike, Ford, Walmart, and others.

Winston16554_300dpiOpening lines:  “New York, New York. At 9:00 p.m. on October 29, 2012, an explosion rocked the Lower East Side of Manhattan. An electric substation belonging to New York utility Consolidated Edison (ConEd) had gone up in flames after the rising seas from Hurricane Sandy flooded the building. A large portion of the world’s most recognizable skyline went dark for four days, including ConEd’s headquarters. In just a few weeks, ConEd lost $2 billion of market cap (one-eighth of the company’s value). …

“While no single weather event can be definitively connected to climate change, it’s now clear that a hotter planet means more intense heat waves, windier hurricanes, and bigger floods — with ever-increasing economic impacts.”

“Is your business ready for the coming storm?”

Review: Claire Sommer, writing for Sustainable Brands, says, “Winston deftly manages a tricky balancing act: talking about humanity’s impending catastrophes while maintaining a rational, business-minded focus on solutions.”

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