Change from Within

Working for a corporation doesn’t have to mean turning your back on doing good, according to author and corporate responsibility (CR) expert Timothy Mohin. In Changing Business from the Inside Out: A Tree-Hugger’s Guide to Working in Corporations (Greenleaf Publishing), Mohin invites readers to tackle corporate problems from the inside by pursuing employment in the growing CR sector (also referred to as sustainability or corporate social responsibility).

Mohin’s roots are in environmental biology and management, but he’s worked for corporate behemoths including Intel and Apple (where he led Apple’s Supplier Responsibility program). As an experienced corporate insider, Mohin offers a glimpse into an emerging field that has the potential for broad influence—within corporations and in the communities where they operate and purchase supplies. He describes CR as a field that links for-profit capitalism with helping people and the environment.

Mohin reminds us that the free-market economy is the dominant social force of our time. He suggests that while pessimists predict a downward spiral where mega-corporations degrade societies and the environment, optimists see the opposite—responsible firms improving conditions and making a profit while doing good. This book is for optimists who want to lead change for the benefit of society from the inside of economic machines.

Though titled a “treehugger’s” guide, Mohin defines a treehugger as not simply an environmental advocate but as someone who acts with altruism. His guidance may be most valuable to readers with a background in business, management or leadership—though Mohin indicates that many CR employees have experience in environmental fields. The author’s take-home message is that you don’t have to compromise your values if you choose to earn a living as a corporate employee.