The Business Sustainability Handbook: A Must Read!

As a graduate college student, I don’t have much free time. Between writing papers, doing research, working, commuting back and forth to Madison (an hour each way), I am not left with much- and what time I do have, is often spent sleeping. But for whatever reasons- perhaps the fates aligned this year- I did not have any commitments over Winter break 2013-2014. Knowing that I would not be able to sleep all day, every day, for three weeks straight, I decided to get back to one of my roots: reading for pleasure.

As much as it seemed like a foreign activity to me, since I’ve hardly had time to finish any books since the seventh Harry Potter book came out, I also looked forward to it immensely. After getting involved more on twitter (you can follow me @mandastarrz) with all things sustainability, I had found my book of choice: The Business Sustainability Handbook. It is written by Julie Urlaub, Founder and Managing Partner of Taiga Company– a sustainability and social media consulting firm for businesses. If you haven’t had a chance to follow her on twitter, LIKE her on Facebook, connect with her on LinkedIn, (and so on), I highly encourage it! She is a breathe of fresh air! She will respond to your tweets, make you feel special, and provide you with business-related and everyday sustainability tips, articles, and blog posts. Being that her forte is in sustainability consulting and social media, it makes complete sense that she is just so darn good at social media and I found myself excited to find out what she would have to offer in a handbook. It took me all of 5 seconds to decide this book would make its way to my Christmas list; after following her tweets for quite some time, the final factor was this cute little video of her in a tree… But don’t take my word for it! Check out the cute snippet for yourself!

From that point forward, the rest was up to my parents. And come Christmas morning, I was enthralled to find just what I’d asked for under the tree: my very own copy of the handbook! After all the presents had been opened, and after my stomach couldn’t possibly fit one more Christmas cookie in it, I snuggled up in my new onesie-jammies and began reading the book…

Reading my new book on ChristmasAnd although I have just finished the book, that says nothing about the quality (reminder: I am a grad student) I found it refreshing that each excerpt was a short blurp on the subject- usually one to four pages, allowing me to read short, informative bits whenever I had a spare moment. It also felt extremely practical- in fact, exactly as she described it- a business sustainability handbook. The points were very direct and obvious, with many examples and articles cited, and it often gave suggestions on how you would apply this to your business. Through her own blog, Urlaub describes the book as a resource that  “presents down-to-earth practical advice on how effective employee engagement, supply chain control, smart energy practices, and management leadership can help your company break through to the forefront of today’s socially responsible business environment. It also reveals how sustainable practices and strategies are making a difference in the global economy and how some of the biggest brands are winning with sustainability.”

My conclusion: a great read- especially for grad students, or anyone that is busy… so I guess, everyone!