Green Jujitsu

Green Jujitsu
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"In my experience most businesses see the sustainability agenda as 'business as usual but a bit greener'. Gareth Kane's book illustrates the need for culture change - and gives practical advice on how to make sustainability a reality, rather than just tokenism."

JULIA HAILES, writer and sustainability adviser to M&S, P&G and McDonalds

Green Jujitsu outlines the smart way for organisational leaders to embed sustainability within the culture of their organisations, by working with their employees' strengths. 

Employee behaviour,  attitudes and company culture are vital to achieving a truly sustainable organisation or business, yet most companies struggle to make real changes that last. Gareth Kane points out the hallmarks of unsuccessful approaches to cultural change, which are often confused, unimaginative or confrontational. He puts forward an alternative framework designed to play to people's strengths and interests and genuinely engage them in problem-solving. 

Green Jujitsu presents tactics that have been battle-proven with some of the world’s leading organisations. It distils dozens of examples of best practise from small and large organisations in a range of sectors. 

This DōShort is for leaders who want make changes that stick. It will transform the way you approach culture change for sustainability.

Watch Gareth Kane's brilliant animation of the Green Jujitsu approach


"Gareth Kane offers a refreshing look at strategies to engage people and embed sustainability within the culture of any organisation. His book is concise and easy to digest, and gets straight to the heart of the matter - it is people that will make this happen therefore understanding the psychology of engaging people through their individual strengths and interests is key. Gareth provides thought-provoking examples of good practice and pitfalls. We have applied some of these practices within our organisation to great effect. This is valuable reading for any organisation embarking on sustainability strategy, and provides a reality check for those for whom sustainability is more established. This book will help you make changes that stick, and become part of your organisation's culture."

DR SEAN AXON, Group Sustainability Director, Johnson Matthey PLC
"Whilst gently poking fun at some of the green clichés that make us cringe, Green Jujitsu is simply structured, straight to the point, and provides practical tools of genuine help. Full of vivid examples, this book guarantees that you will remember not one, but several tips for success – I shall definitely be putting some of Gareth’s ideas into practice at Canon."

SURRIE EVERETT-PASCOE, CSR, Environment and Product Safety, Canon


Gareth Kane is an internationally recognised environmental and sustainability expert. He has appeared as a media pundit on sustainability issues on, for example, the BBC Six O’Clock News, Countryfile, The Politics Show and local radio. In 2008 The Journal newspaper named Gareth as a ‘Rising Star, Future Leader’ for his work on sustainability. Gareth’s consultancy Terra Infirma has a client list including the BBC, BAE Systems plc, Johnson Matthey plc, the NHS and East Coast Mainline. In June 2010 the company was singled out for praise in the press by UK Environment Secretary, the Rt Hon Caroline Spelman MP. Terra Infirma’s Green Academy online training programme has attracted participants from around the globe – from the USA to New Zealand. Gareth was elected onto Newcastle City Council in 2004. Until 2011, he was deputy Executive Member for Environment and Sustainability which culminated in Newcastle being declared the UK’s most sustainable city by Forum for the Future in 2009 and 2010. He is now opposition spokesman on Sustainability. Gareth is the author of two books on business and sustainability, most recently The Green Executive.


Introduction: What Is The Biggest Barrier To Corporate Sustainability?
1. Why Sustainability Programmes Fail
What’s the problem?
Why ‘switch it off’ doesn’t work
Institutional inertia
How not to do culture change
Questions for you
2. The Green Jujitsu Approach
The jujitsu analogy
Understanding attitudes to sustainability
Internal resistance
Motivations of different roles
The elephant model of culture change
No pain, no gain
Questions for you
3 Providing Information
Fighting for attention
What is relevant to your audience?
Speaking their language
Use questions, not statements
Reframing the argument
Effective switch it off
Integration of messages
Questions for you
4. Engaging Emotionally
Lead by example
The fallback plan: Guerrilla tactics
Tapping into company culture
Building trust
Show, don’t tell
‘More stilettos than sandals’
Make people part of the solution
Teams and teamwork
Questions for you
5. Nudging People Onto The Right Path
Providing green technology
Changing the physical environment
Policy changes
Identifying problems and opportunities
Questions for you
6. Human Resources Issues
Job descriptions and performance assessment
Formal training
Who does the changing?
Sustainability/environmental champions
External change agents
Questions for you
Annex: Group Exercises
Powerpoint or not?
Gaining immediate buy-in
Solutions generation


Title: Green Jujitsu: The Smart Way to Embed Sustainability in your Organization
Author: Gareth Kane
Publication Date: September 2012
Page extent: 66
Formats and ISBNs: 
pdf: 9781909293083
epub: 9781909293076
print: 9781909293069