Preface

When I was approached by Wiley to write a book on sustainable development in the chemical industry, my first concern was that, by addressing only the chemical industry, the view on sustainability would be too limited. Upon greater reflection, this industry represents an opportune lens through which to fashion a book on sustainable development for numerous reasons. Chemicals have been linked to the first trumpeting of alarm that heralded in the environmental movement, with the writing of Silent Spring. The chemical industry was among the first to organize on a significant scale a voluntary program with hopes of transforming itself and the perception of others into a responsible environmental actor (Responsible CareĀ®). And lastly, the industry's products are ubiquitous in commerce and are found in the supply chains, if not lifecycles, of virtually all products and services. Correspondingly, they are also found in all ecosystems around the globe. So, utilizing the issues of sustainability to be representative of the broader set confronting business in general makes sense.

The second concern I pondered was how to present a book that is balanced in representing the perspectives of multiple stakeholder groups of importance, broad in the handling of an array of topics, yet pragmatic in its quest to be of value to those most interested in operationalizing sustainability in their daily activities, on "Monday morning." It was clear that I needed to work on a team with others representing areas of knowledge deeper than my own, and further, that we needed to maintain, wherever possible, the voices of others as co-authors.

And so I asked Marianne Lines, my dear friend and colleague, to become coeditor. Marianne's exceptional organizational skills and sense of enjoyment from details, well-honed experience in pulling together expert stakeholders, and fundamental knowledge of sustainability issues were my primary reasons for inviting her to participate, and she has surpassed all of my expectations.

Further, Marianne and I wanted a third team member imbued with specific knowledge of the chemical industry and with technical expertise in the area of chemical products and processes. Dicksen Tanzil kindly accepted our invitation to fill that spot. His dedication, sense of purpose, intelligence, and willingness to take on any task required, made him an invaluable member of the team.

This rounded out our editorial team. And so BRIDGES to Sustainability, our nonprofit organization housing the three of us in our quest to bridges between technical and management issues, between short- and long-term values, between companies and their stakeholders, and between strategies and actions, became again a bridge between thought and words.

Finally, we wanted to create a comprehensive resource on the topic of oper-ationalizing sustainability, which could be used as a reference on a variety of sus-tainability how-to topics. As a result, we developed a compendium drawing upon conceptual, technical, and practical perspectives of sustainability. Rather than being comprehensive, we offer representative approaches in short form, with references as to where to find more information.

Our main goal of this book is to provide a framework for companies to adopt sustainable business practices; to demonstrate how businesses can translate sustainabil-ity strategies into action. Our focus is how to operationalize sustainability, and we seek to be relevant to not only managers in industry, but also to future managers in business and engineering educational programs.

We are motivated by a desire to be better: better corporate players, more socially responsible, creating fewer negative impacts and more positive benefits from our actions as well as those of others constituting our "value chain", improving the quality of life in our communities, protecting our children's quality of life in the future. If this book offers insights into how to move closer to any of these, we have accomplished our mission. Please take as many of these ideas as you wish, expand upon them, and use them. That will be the ultimate test of the success of this endeavor.

Beth Beloff Marianne Lines Dicksen Tanzil

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