October 20, 2020

International book lanch 7 Roles to Create Sustainable Success
On 6 October 2020, the new book ‘7 Roles to Create Sustainable Success’ of Carola Wijdoogen, cofounder and director of Sustainability University Foundation and former CSO of NS,  was launched internationally. To celebrate the launch, a webinar was planned but, due to a new COVID-19 situation in the Netherlands, changed into an online recording.

Webinar book launch
To celebrate the book launch, a livestream webinar was hosted by the partners of Utrecht Science Park. The webinar – like the book 7 Roles – focuses on the specific skills and roles that (future) professionals and organizations need in order to accelerate sustainable development. The program of the webinar is nowadays – restarting during/after COVID-19 – more relevant than ever. Or as Peter Bakker, president and CEO of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, puts it in the foreword of the book:  “now is a pivotal moment for business to lead the way in achieving a world where more than 9 billion people have a decent quality of life within the boundaries of our planet by 2050.”

The webinar contains contributions of prof. dr. Annetje Ottow (Vice President of Utrecht University’s Executive Board), prof. dr. Maarten Hajer (Professor of Urban Futures, Utrecht University) and Roger van Boxtel (Chief Executive Officer Dutch Railways – NS). With this video recording of the webinar, you will be able to listen to and see a unique expert view from different perspectives: academic, science and business.

The book launch is organized together with:

Watch the webinar

More about the book

Recent research by the Sustainability University Foundation among some 100 sustainability professionals shows that 62% of the companies that have already integrated sustainability in their organisation, either fully or to a large extent, have continued or even accelerated (22%) their sustainable transition during the current coronavirus crisis. These companies are preparing for a green and social recovery of the economy in which they want to stay ahead of competition. Companies that have not yet started or ones that have just started seem to be having more difficulty in becoming more sustainable. Some 83% of the sustainability professionals working in these companies indicate that the crisis is making their work more difficult. A new book by Carola Wijdoogen, entitled 7 Roles to Create Sustainable Success, offers concrete tools to accelerate sustainable transitions in companies and organisations. The international book launch will take place on 6 October.

‘Translating a sustainable strategy into concrete action and innovation is a challenge for many companies, including ones that have already integrated sustainability to a large extent. So the clear division in acceleration between these two type of companies during the current COVID-19 crisis surprised me. It could be that companies that have been more mature with regard to sustainability, may have realised that sustainability offers opportunities to stay in the lead,’ says Carola Wijdoogen, former director of Sustainability at Dutch railway company NS (2010-2019), who currently heads the Sustainability University Foundation.

Wijdoogen has written an unique book based on scientific research and the experiences of sustainability professionals around the world, including her own. The book is filled with concrete tools to accelerate sustainable transitions in companies and organisations. It includes insights from 25 renowned sustainability professionals from across the world, including Kate Raworth (Doughnut Economy), Todd Cort (Yale SOM) and international sustainability managers from SIFCA group, Levi Strauss & Co., Interface Europe, KPN, Unilever Benelux, Microsoft, Philips International BV, DSM, Ingka Group and Google.

There is a clear business case for sustainable strategies. For example, companies that understand and improve their impact are better able to manage operational, regulatory and reputational risks, develop new products and tap into other markets. Internationally agreed frameworks such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement provide a global agenda and enable companies to transform systems that benefit both people and the planet.

For businesses, the current COVID-19 era could become a crucial phase in choosing to establish or refine their sustainable strategy in order to lead the way. Achieving the intended success, however, requires strategies to be translated into concrete action and innovation. The webinar on October 6th – celebrating the book launch – will address the question of what is needed to make this happen in practice.

More information about the book can be found at 7roles.com.

Title:                             7 Roles to Create Sustainable Success
Author:                         Carola Wijdoogen
Publisher:                     Stichting Sustainability University in cooperation with Amsterdam University Press
Numer of pages:          208
Language:                    English
Price:                           29,75 € / 24,99 £ / 29,99 $ (paperback)
                                     19,99 € / 18,99 £ / 23,99 $ (e-book) 
Order:                          Amsterdam University Press
Paperback:                  ISBN/EAN: 978-90-829497-4-2
E-book:                        ISBN/EAN: 978-90-829497-5-9