Thanks to my membership in the International Society of Sustainability Professionals (ISSP), I learned about Street Smart Sustainability by David Mager and Joe Sibilia. The book’s subtitle is “the entrepreneur’s guide to profitably greening your organization’s DNA.” And while the authors’ explicit aim is to provide small and medium business owners and CEO’s with the information and tools needed to successfully adopt sustainable practices into their products and workplaces, I found a wealth of material that is transferable to government settings and larger organizations.

Briefly, Mager and Sibilia are two of the most knowledgeable and experienced sustainability professionals anywhere. David Mager, President of Major Solutions, helped organize the first Earth Day, consulted with more than 300 companies to help them become greener, and worked with the federal government and EPA. Joe Sibilia is founder and CEO of Meadowbrook Lane Capital, a socially responsible investment bank and, a digital news service on corporate social responsibility and sustainability.

I like this book a lot. It covers the fundamentals—leadership for green starts at the top, the mission statement, employee input (including a sample survey instrument), engagement and incentives, among other things. It also dives headlong into that territory that is the real work (and reward!) of implementing sustainable policies and practices—metrics and measurement, audits, and certification.

The authors hold the readers’ hands, thank you very much, and show the way. I also appreciate that the authors tackle topical issues—product design, facility/worksite, energy consumption, carbon footprint mitigation, purchasing (including a question checklist for vendors), and recycling and so-called waste. Throughout, there are numerous and encouraging examples of companies that faced challenges similar to those working to green their organizations and how they successfully met them.


Mager, D. (2011). Street smart sustainability: entrepreneurs guide to profitably greening your organizations DNA. Ltd. ISBN-13: 978-1605094656