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Volans drives market-based solutions to the future's greatest challenges.

The Breakthrough Challenge:

10 Ways to Connect Today’s Profits with Tomorrow’s Bottom Line

Sustainability is becoming increasingly important to businesses and corporations all over the globe. Companies are increasingly asking the question: what should our business strategy be in context of demographic, environmental and resource pressures? A growing number of the world’s most forward-looking CEOs recognize the central challenge facing business today: a fundamental shift in the nature of commerce.

The Breakthrough Challenge: 10 Ways to Connect Today's Profits With Tomorrow's Bottom Line, is co-authored by John Elkington, Co-Founder & Executive Chairman of Volans, Co-Founder of SustainAbility, and Jochen Zeitz (former CEO of PUMA, and now co-Chair with Sir Richard Branson of The B Team), and is based on the pioneer work of The B Team, a global nonprofit initiative redefining business as a driving force for social, environmental and economic benefit.

Twenty years on from when the ‘triple bottom line’ – a term coined by John Elkington in 1997 – first came into business parlance, this project carries forward the concept of “true sustainability” and brings together prominent voices in the business world such as Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus, Tata Group; Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever; and Arianna Huffington, founder and CEO of The Huffington Post to propose that the most important goal for a business must be to redefine the bottom line to better align with the people, planet & profit, accounting for true long-term costs throughout the supply chain.

The authors conclude that the world has entered one of those rare epochal periods when business, markets, and even capitalism itself face convulsive shifts—as the old economic order breaks down. As confidence in the old order erodes, business leaders will look for different (and increasingly radical) solutions.

A few leaders are already considering new ways to perform not only against today’s success measures but also against tomorrow’s bottom line. This is the Breakthrough Challenge.

To rise to the Challenge, leaders must critically rethink:

  • How to stretch ambitions and targets to match the nature and scale of the challenges
  • What counts on business balance sheets
  • How to incentivize performance throughout companies and their supply chains
  • Who needs to do what in the C-suite

Tomorrow’s bottom line will vary across different geographies, sectors and ownership structures, but at its heart will be a new appreciation of longer-term thinking and value creation.

The Breakthrough Challenge draws on over 100 exclusive interviews to map the emerging landscape of risk and opportunity, investigating the pioneering work of CEOs and other business leaders from around the globe.

The book has been endorsed by leading figures such as Tim Brown (IDEO), Arianna Huffington (The Huffington Post), Paul Polman (Unilever), Mary Robinson (former President of Ireland), Jeff Skoll (eBay and the Skoll Foundation) and includes a foreword by Sir Richard Branson.

Buy the Book

We hope you support your local bookstore(s), but you can also order The Breakthrough Challenge via Amazon, Waterstones and Wiley.

For bulk orders or media review copies, please contact Sam Lakha, our Director of Outreach, at or on +44 (0)20 7268 0399.