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Books, Articles and Other Resources

Jeana Wirtenberg's newest book, Building a Culture for Sustainability, People, Planet, and Profits in a New Green Economy. (2014)

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by Jeana Wirtenberg, with foreword by Andrew Winston

"Sustainability" isn't merely a buzzword; it's critical to long-term success.

This practical, easy-to-understand book sets a path to successfully building a culture for sustainability in today's global marketplace, providing "best practice" case studies from industries and sectors including manufacturing, business-to-business, hospitality, consumer products, telecommunications, and professional services.

In their own words, leaders, managers, and employees from nine global companies explain how they are turning their visions into reality. Sustainability and human resources expert Jeana Wirtenberg describes how these companies are transforming challenges into opportunities by opening their minds to the megatrends that will define the future. The vast majority of today's CEOs consider sustainability essential to their company's success, yet most do not know how to embed it into their company and its culture. This book guides firms of all types and sizes—from those organizations just starting their journey to sustainability, to those seeking to accelerate their positive impact on people, reduce their negative environmental impact, and improve their bottom line. Wirtenberg shows readers how extraordinary results are possible by engaging the hearts and minds of employees throughout the organization.

• Never-before-published stories and lessons learned from nine successful global companies that are building cultures for sustainability
• Tips from business leaders on how to create purposeful work environments that ignite employees' passion
• Practical resources: on-the-ground successful programs; proven global and local best practices; top-down and bottom-up strategies and activities; and user-friendly frameworks, tools, and references that help firms at any level of sustainability build a more sustainable culture via increased employee engagement

Sample Topics

Best Practices
Corporate Social Responsibility
Culture Change
Employee Engagement, Training, and Development
Employee Volunteerism
Environmental Stewardship
Green Leadership
Green Teams
Human Resources
Leadership Development 3.0
Metrics and Measurements for Sustainability
Organization Development
Organization Transformation and Change
Sustainable Development
Triple Bottom Line

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The Sustainable Enterprise Fieldbook, When It All Comes Together.  Ed. Jeana Wirtenberg, William G. Russell, and David Lipsky (2008), with Forward by Georg Kell, Executive Director, UN Global Compact.

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Today, managers and leaders of organizations, in both the private sector and civil society, are being challenged as never before to find ways to play a proactive role in addressing the concerns of sustainable development. But they are often overwhelmed by a bombardment of conflicting messages from the media, shareholders, customers, employees, and NGOs. The Sustainable Enterprise Fieldbook helps managers deal with this confusion. It teaches them how to strike a better balance, moving from an either/or mind-set to one that holistically embraces social, environmental and economic issues simultaneously. It addresses the what ( what is a sustainable strategy for a company or organization? ) as well as the how ( how do we go about building a sustainable enterprise? ).

The Sustainable Enterprise Fieldbook has been put together by an outstanding network of experts from business (Microsoft, Sony, Philips, and AIG), consultancies, and academia. Its aim is to teach and guide leaders, managers, practitioners, students, and professors in every sector of society, and in every industry, in creating a successful and sustainable enterprise. By making the steps needed clear, understandable, and simple to follow, the book naturally engages readers in their journey and encourages their participation in three key ways: by increasing their understanding and awareness of what sustainability means at a conceptual and practical, as well as a personal, level; by energizing and expanding people s commitment to building sustainable enterprises; and by providing readers with extensive tools and techniques so they can individually and collectively take actions that will improve the social, environmental, and economic performance of their organizations in both the short and long term.

Each chapter of the book illustrates through models, tools, cases, stories, and examples from a wide range of companies how to integrate sustainability into the day-to-day realities of running a business. Managers are coached, facilitated, and guided to enable them to create a better balance between the short and long term, to help them to become change agents in their organizations and to provide answers to the question How do I make a difference? Some of the areas covered are leadership, strategy, managing change, employee engagement, metrics and measurement, networks, and globalization.

Readers of The Sustainable Enterprise Fieldbook will find access to the innovative Living Fieldbook , which is an online community support service providing ongoing updated assistance in building a sustainable enterprise.

The Sustainable Enterprise Fieldbook offers an ingredient that has been missing in the enormous outpouring of information on organizations and sustainability: an holistic integration of solutions, which will make the journey personal for each reader.


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"Triple Bottom Line:  Creating 3.0 Leaders for the 21st Century"

An article in "Leadership Excellence" by Dr. Jeana Wirtenberg

Sustainability and the green economy present great challenges and opportunities—and sustainable leadership is what will turn the tide. We must bring about sustainable business models that enable companies, people, and our planet to flourish and thrive now and in the future. How do we do this?

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Harmon, J., Fairfield, K. & Wirtenberg, J. (2010)  "Missing an Opportunity: HR Leadership and Sustainability", HR People and Strategy. Vol. 33, No. 1,  16-21.

Wirtenberg, J., Lipsky, D., Abrams, L., Conway, M., Slepian, J: "The Future of Organization Development: Enabling Sustainable Business Performance Through People," Organization Development Journal, Summer 2007 (Volume 25 No. 2), pp. 11-22.  

Wirtenberg, J., Backer, T., Chang, W., Lannan, T., Applegate, B., Conway, M., Abrams, L., Slepian, J., "The Future of Organization Development in the Nonprofit Sector,"Organization Development Journal, Winter 2007 (Volume 25 No. 4), pp. 179-195.

J. Wirtenberg, L. Abrams, & C. Ott, "Assessing the Field of Organization Development,"Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, Vol. 40, Number 4,  December 2004, pp. 465-479. Cited in David L. Bradford and W. Warner Burke’s book "Reinventing Organization Development as "the hope of Organization Development."Harmon, J & Seeger, J. (2004).

Research Reports


Vickers, M.,  J. Wirtenberg, J. Harmon, A. Lindberg,, J. M. Lee, and D. J. Dennis (2007).Creating a Sustainable Future: A global study of current trends and possibilities 2007–2017. New York: American Management Association.

September 11, 2007  AMA Webcast, "Sustainability:  An Evolving Business Paradigm" Complete Webcast:

For PDF of slide presentation click here.


SHRM Foundation's Effective Practice Guidelines Series, HRM's Role in Corporare Social and Environmental Sustainability,

Book Chapters

Wirtenberg, J., 2011. Sustainable Enterprise for the 21st Century. Chapter 4, Volume I (of 3 Volumes), S.G. McNall, J.C.Hershauer and G.Basile, (Editors),The Business of Sustainability: Trends, Policies, Practices and Stories of Success, Santa Barbara, Ca: ABC-CLIO, 67-88.