Recently published findings from the Third Annual Sustainability Global Executive Survey conducted by MIT Sloan Management Review indicated that more organizations than ever before are putting sustainability on their business agendas and are recognizing the need to do so in order to remain competitive.

Building on the findings from this and other recent research on sustainability, this article argues that sustainability must be viewed in organizational transformation terms and that, like other forms of large-scale business change, it can only succeed if addressed using an art and science approach. While the importance of the people-related aspects of organizational change are increasingly being recognized in the literature, in practice there is continuing evidence that many mission-critical projects fail due to a neglect of the art of transformation. This article discusses several key aspects of art and science that are crucial in ensuring that organizations maximize the business benefits of sustainability, and highlights the importance of achieving the right balance of art and science when implementing sustainability initiatives.