My best book list on CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility)

CSR is a broad concept and requires a lot of study to build a strong foundation for best practices. I have collected the best books for you here to save your time!


1. Ecological Intelligence | By Daniel Goldman


Comfort and luxury are everywhere in today's materialistic world. However, the damage caused to the environment and human health is undoubtedly undeniable. Emotional Intelligence Specialist Daniel Goleman is a strong advocate of "radical transparency" in terms of environmental impact. He says if consumers understand how the food they buy is destroying the planet, they will start to make cleaner choices. Goleman argues that such transparency will help people become greener, help Mother Nature and even increase business profits. This is a compelling, fact-based book about the causes of transparency in the industry.

“Goleman's critiques are scathing, but his conclusion is heartening: a new generation of industrial ecologists is mapping the exact impact of every production process, which could challenge consumers to change their behavior in substance rather than just show.” - Publishers Weekly


2. The Evolution of a Corporate Idealist: When Girls Meets Oil | By Christine Bader


As stated on Amazon.com, “Bader's story of working deep in the belly of the beast is unique in detail but not in subject: he felt like an outsider both inside and outside the company (accused of being an undercover activist). ". (assumed to be the company's call sign); receiving ambiguous messages from senior management; disappointed with corporate life, but seeking change from within. ".

“The Evolution of a Corporate Idealist is a quick read, effortlessly gulped during a long airplane flight. The writing is clear and concise, and if the book doesn’t leave one convinced that every multinational has suddenly developed a guiding conscience, it does offer some encouragement that many are on the way." - The New York Times


planet over profit
Is it true that every business is putting planet over profit?

3. Environmentalism of the rich | By Peter Dauvergne


In the last 50 years, the environmental campaign has had a greater influence than most other large-scale movements. However, in his book Environmentalism of the Rich, Peter Dauvergne, a well-known environmental author and an international relations lecturer at the University of British Columbia, warns that allowing large companies to set the agenda risks the movement losing its primary goal. Many corporations are just concerned with their profits and do not consider the environmental consequences of their operations. Environmentalists must fight and critique ineffective market solutions, phony CSR initiatives, and corporate collaborations with non-profits.

"In this important new book, Peter Dauvergne lays out the rich world's limited understanding of global environmentalism. The great strength of the book is that it focuses on people, from those at the forefront of global capitalism to the contemporary environmental activists pushing for more far reaching environmental change." —The International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation

4. The Sustainability Edge | By Suhas Apte and Jagdish Sheth


In the last 50 years, the environmental campaign has had a greater influence than most other large-scale movements. However, in his book Environmentalism of the Rich, Peter Dauvergne, a well-known environmental author and an international relations lecturer at the University of British Columbia, warns that allowing large companies to set the agenda risks the movement losing its primary goal. Many corporations are just concerned with their profits and do not consider the environmental consequences of their operations. Environmentalists must fight and critique ineffective market solutions, phony CSR initiatives, and corporate collaborations with non-profits.

"Suhas Apte and Jag Sheth detail the powerful opportunities to grow your business by putting purpose at the core of your strategy and activating it through deep collaboration across your value chain. A must-read for today's business leaders." - Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever


5. A Better World, Inc.: How Companies Profit by Solving Global Problems… Where Governments Cannot | By Alice Korngold


Last but not least, Alice Korngold's latest book, "Better World, Inc.," is a must-read. Amazon.com claims that “In A Better World, Inc., Korngold demonstrates how businesses and their leaders may benefit by creating answers to the world's most difficult problems - problems that governments can't or won't solve. A Better World, Inc. delineates best practices for corporations to maximize profits, decrease costs, and build the longer-term value of their companies by ensuring a more sustainable and humane world, using case studies of various global companies ranging from Nike to Pfizer to Vodafone and GlaxoSmithKline.

"Through rich examples and a thorough analysis, A Better World, Inc. illustrates that it's not only possible for companies to do well while doing good, but it is increasingly essential." - Kenneth B. Mehlman, Partner, KKR


6. The Business Solution to Poverty | By Paul Polak and Mal Warwick


Mal Warwick and Paul Polak, two veterans of the Global South's fight against underdevelopment, authored a paper stating that long-term attempts by both private and governmental forces to better the world's most impoverished places have failed. They propose an alternative: a well-proven "business strategy" that converts the poor into employees of lucrative local enterprises, improving their quality of life. They place a premium on product affordability, aspirational branding, simplicity, and the ability to scale up. Scale is a problem that is affecting billions of people around the world. According to Warwick, multinational corporations must recognize that their long-term success is dependent on the development of products and markets for these people.

"[Reducing] poverty by building big businesses that serve the 3 billion poorest people in the world [may seem] at once inspiring and a bit daunting. But if your business idea looks like it might fit the bill, this book may be just the guide you need to help you on your way." -The Economist


wind energy
Will businesses focus more on sustainable and ethical acts in the future?

7. Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman | By Yvon Chouinard


Amazon.com Review: “In his long-awaited memoir, Yvon Chouinard-legendary climber, businessman, environmentalist, and founder of Patagonia, Inc.-shares the persistence and courage that have gone into being head of one of the most respected and environmentally responsible companies on earth. From his youth as the son of a French Canadian blacksmith to the thrilling, ambitious climbing expeditions that inspired his innovative designs for the sport’s equipment, Let My People Go Surfing is the story of a man who brought doing good and having grand adventures into the heart of his business life-a book that will deeply affect entrepreneurs and outdoor enthusiasts alike.”

"[Reducing] poverty by building big businesses that serve the 3 billion poorest people in the world [may seem] at once inspiring and a bit daunting. But if your business idea looks like it might fit the bill, this book may be just the guide you need to help you on your way." -The Economist

Am I missing any book? Please suggest in the comment section!

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