In the previous post of this series on the book Green to Gold, I explained how the downside and upside of environmental (or climate change) initiatives may be managed. In this final installment, I will talk about thirteen pitfalls to avoid.

One of the reasons why I like this book is that the authors do not just offer examples of success stories. There are also many examples of real life failures that illustrate some pitfalls you should avoid.

There is a great summary table that lists 13 reasons why environmental or sustainability initiatives fail and the solutions and tools to address them. You can see the summary table from Google Books excerpt below. (Note that Google Books limits the number of times you can view this book.)

Taking it all in, how do you set up an action plan for the environmental initiatives of your Canadian business? The authors suggest breaking up the action plan into short term, medium term, and long term.

  • Short term actions (0 to 6 months): Focus on baseline analyses and first steps toward developing a strategy
  • Medium term actions (6 to 18 months): Seek to embed a mindset in the company culture
  • Long term actions (18 months and beyond): Center on making environment a core element of strategy

You can see the excerpt from Google Books below. (Note that Google Books limits the number of times you can view this book.)

I have only provided a high level overview here. You can find more useful details in the chapter ‘Why Environmental Initiatives Fail’ in the book (available from

And this concludes the multi-part series on the four ‘golden’ takeaways of Green to Gold: How Smart Companies Use Environmental Strategy to Innovate, Create Value, and Build Competitive Advantage. The previous installments, if case you missed them, are: (1) Introduction; (2) Top Ten Challenges, Risks, Opportunities; (3) Manage Your Stakeholders; (4) Manage Downside, Build Upside.

I hope this helps your business lower costs, increase revenue, reduce risks, and pursue opportunities in the areas related to climate change. Contact me if you would like to discuss how these ideas may be applied to your business. is a blog on climate change for Canadian businesses. Link to original post