Kellogg Magazine

A Q&A with Trista Bridges '00

Trista Bridges '00 and her business partner, Donald Eubank, published Leading Sustainably—The Path to Sustainable Business and How the SDGs Changed Everything to "put purpose on equal footing with profit." We checked in with Trista to find out where she suggests sustainability and strategy intersect.

What inspired you to write Leading Sustainably?

There has been growing momentum around the idea that our current model of business is falling short and needs a reset. As a result, the topic of sustainability has lept of the agenda of companies around the world and managers across all sectors are being called upon to act. My co-author and I wanted to explore the state of play of sustainability from a business perspective and, through case studies and examples, provide some guidance on how organizations can truly embed sustainability in their strategy and operations.

What research do you discuss?

As sustainability is truly a global issue, we wanted to make sure that we explored the topic from a global perspective. So a significant part of our research focused on interviews with 100+ thought leaders from around the world and various sectors. Many of those we interviewed came from large corporations such as Sony, Coca-Cola, H&M, AXA, Novo Nordisk, and Givaudan (to name a few). However, we also interviewed many smaller companies, including companies we refer to as "mission driven" companies — those that have been sustainable from the start, such as KEEN and Toad&Co.

How is the topic of sustainability changing?

In the past, sustainability focused almost exclusively on the environment. Obviously climate change is an issue of existential importance. However, other critically important topics such as health and wellness, equality, education, decent work, justice and good governance also need our focus. I would even argue that all of these topics are, in fact, interconnected. It's going to be extremely difficult for us to tackle climate change if we don't have good governance or big improvements on equality in all its forms. Thanks to the launch of the SDGs and the awareness of these issues among the general public in many places in the world, our definition of sustainability has expanded. This is a good thing.

Why do you feel sustainable business is a critical topic now?

I would highlight two reasons. Firstly, the general public is much more active in voicing their disapproval of companies they view as having a poor track record on sustainability and supporting (through their spending) companies who they feel better align with their values. In addition, investors are now much more engaged on this topic. ESG has grown significantly as a screening criteria as investors increasingly view investing in companies with little to no focus on sustainability as a risky endeavour. These dynamics are converging to put increasing pressure on companies.

What do you hope people take from the book?

There are many lessons throughout, but I would stress two: 
  1. Businesses needs to approach the transition towards sustainability like they would any other change management effort — e.g. set clear targets, put in place KPIs and hold employees accountable for them, skill-up employees through training and other initiatives, and ensure this effort is properly resourced.
  2. It's important people view sustainability as an opportunity. When you look at what companies like Danone or Autodesk are doing as well as more mission-driven organizations like Patagonia, Lemonade, and many more, we can see that companies can thrive and lead by putting sustainability at the core of what they do.

More published works from Kellogg alumni

1971-FT

Robert Dexheimer

Robert has recently published United Party, America Needs a Third Major Political Party.

1981-FT

Wynn Willard

Wynn recently published an intriguing book of commentary on current affairs, Fifty-Six Things The Left Will Take Away From You: A Catalog Of Coming Confiscations. His website is www.wynnwillard.com.

1982-FT

Steven Kaplan

After co-authoring eight books on technology, Steve authored his first solo book, The ROI Story: A Guide for IT Leaders. He works at Nutanix where he heads a global team of business analysts. Steve has been working remotely since 2005 and for the past eight years has worked from his home in beautiful Lake Tahoe where his wife manages their high-end vacation rental, Tahoe Blue Estate.

1982-FT

Joel Shalowitz

Joel, has published a textbook, The U.S. Healthcare System: Origins, Organization and Opportunities. Formerly a Clinical Professor and Director for the Health Industry Management Program at Kellogg from 1987-2015, he also writes a daily blog at www.HealthcareInsights.MD that complements and updates the book.

1984-E&W

Julie Ryan McGue

Julie will be releasing her memoir, Twice A Daughter: A Search for Identity, Family, and Belonging, in May 2021. It is the story about her search for birth relatives and will be published by She Writes Press.
Book Cover of FrameShifting: Unleashing the Power of Frameworks to Fuel Collaboration and Solve Tough Problems

1985-FT

Alison Heiser

FrameShifting: Unleashing the Power of Frameworks to Fuel Collaboration and Solve Tough Problems illuminates the discipline of problem framing and using frameworks effectively, making what has historically been more of an art into a learnable science. For anyone who engages others in the exploration and solving of tough problems, it provides “…excellent guidance on the value of FrameShifting” – Philip Kotler

1990-FT

Neil Kaplan

Neil published his first book, Acquiring Polish Citizenship by Descent: What You Need to Know. Celebrating its fourth anniversary, Neil founded PolandPassport.com in 2016. PolandPassport.com is a global consulting services firm for individuals wishing to prove their Polish heritage with the hope of securing Polish citizenship and the associated benefits of an EU passport. He served as head of delegation for Poland in the European Maccabi games in Budapest. He captained the cycling team. His son Harry won three medals in fencing.

1991-FT

Jonathan Raskas

Jonathan published his first book, Infinito: 22, a reflection on how to face tragedy and pain in a healthy way, by confronting grief with an intentional head on collision and wrestling it to a place of hope. Described as a “painting of emotion,” topics include parenting, intention, purpose, and the moments that create our experiences as we exist as humans on planet earth. http://www.infinito22.com.
Book Cover of Rebel Leadership by Larry Robertson

1991-FT

Larry Robertson

Two decades into this new century, we now live in a world more uncertain than certain. In this new ‘abnormal,’ our ability to sustain far into the future, to realize our dreams and our potentialities and to progress, depends on seeing leadership in a whole new way. Rebel leadership is that new way, and this book, Rebel Leadership: How to Thrive in Uncertain Times, will show not only why, but how. .
Book Cover of Notes on Polo and Riding by Timothy Zee

1993-FT

Timothy Zee

Notes on Polo & Riding provides instructions on the sport of polo and riding. It was originally written in French by Captain H. Lavergne and remained unpublished for nearly a century. It is now translated into English and introduced by Timothy Zee, a private equity investor and polo player. Timothy came across the printer’s proof in a rare bookstore in New York City and published it in homage to both the sport of polo and Captain Lavergne.

2004-FT

Jen Collins Moore

Jen published her debut novel, Murder in the Piazza, on September 22. She left the world of brand management in 2010 to found Meez Meals, Chicago’s favorite meal kit service, and has been writing fiction for the last five years. "The streets of Rome come to life (and death) in this fresh, fun mystery that journeys through the intersections of art, travel, secrets and delicious Italian cuisine. Jen Collins Moore is an outstanding tour guide."

2005-PhD

Mary Kern

Mary Kern ‘05 and Terri Kurtzberg ’00 have co-authored Negotiating at Home: Essential Steps for Reaching Agreement with Your Kids. Even seasoned professionals stumble in negotiations with their kids over everyday requests, rules and policies, and big decisions, and often end up derailed and frustrated. Grounded in decades of research on how to negotiate effectively, parents will learn about how to plan, recognize specific tactics, communicate and work in partnerships with other family members, address fairness, and handle conflict.

2017-FT

Kevin Kohlstedt

Kevin co-authored, crowdfunded on Kickstarter and published his first children's book, Bizy Buddies Explore Digestion. The Bizy Buddies are a diverse cast of characters who teach children good habits in a fun, playful way. Kevin enjoys reading the book to he and his wife Karly's first child and fellow Kellogg alum Thomas McHardy ’17.
Book Cover of CMO to CRO by Rolly Keenan

2007-E&W

Rolly Keenan

Discover how to reach your potential as a CMO and stand out as more than a marketing professional. In CMO to CRO: The Revenue Takeover by The Next Generation Executive, industry experts Brandi Starr, Mike Geller and Rolly Keenan show you how to bring revenue to the forefront and make every team’s number one objective a seamless customer experience. You’ll learn how to create consistency by reorganizing your business, following the customer, prioritizing revenue and using CX technology to succeed where your competition fails. This book presents a revolutionary approach to not only unite the silos, but also position you as an innovative leader and finally uncover what CX is really about — revenue growth.

EMBA Cohort CS17

Prashanth Southekal, PhD

Prashanth has published his second book, Analytics Best Practices: A Business-driven Playbook for Creating Value through Data Analytics. It provides ten key analytics best practices that will improve the odds of delivering enterprise data analytics solutions successfully.