The Battle To Do Good

Book released:  January 19, 2019




1.  You’re interested in what really happens behind the closed doors of a huge, global, multi-national companies.

2. You’re intrigued if and how companies like McDonald’s balance profit and serving society.

3. You’re cynical about “corporate social responsibility.”  (The Economist reviewed my book and said it’s a “must read, even for those most cynical about corporate social responsibility.”)

4. You’re in business and perplexed as to whether it’s possible to do good and still build the bottom line.

5. You’re a business student who wants to use the power of business to make a positive impact on the world.

6. You’re a teacher and are looking for a good book to use to teach students the real world intersection of business and society.

7. You’re a member of a book club looking for a non-fiction piece of unexpected, unusual and unvarnished truth about a mega-brand.

8. You like page-turners with drama, villains and heroes.

9. You are part of a non-profit group who wants to work with companies to help them make better decisions for a better world.

10. You’re simply curious and looking for a different book to read where you can learn something very new.

Editorial Reviews

The Battle to Do Good: Inside McDonald’s Sustainability Journey is a must-read even for those who are cynical about the business of corporate social responsibility.” –The Economist

“If you’re interested in the changing consumer marketplace and how societal demands will directly impact how you run cattle at home on the ranch, this book is definitely a page turner worth reading. It’s insightful, honest and really gives a glimpse at the changing dynamics of retailers, supplier and consumer relationships.” –BEEF Magazine

“Bob is a terrific storyteller – and man, does he have stories: battling with Greenpeace and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals; collaborating with Environmental Defense Fund and World Wildlife Fund; engaging Dr. Temple Grandin, the animal welfare guru; enlisting big suppliers like Smithfield and Cargill; convening the beef industry to define sustainable beef; and getting buy-in from an ever-changing cast of McDonald’s executives… His remarkable story is not just a great read about an enviable career, but a hero’s journey through the history of sustainable business and what it takes to be a leader, sometimes against the greatest of odds.” –Joel Makower, GreenBiz

“If you want to read something that will leave you with a great deal to think about regarding something you thought you knew, namely what seemingly ‘faceless companies’ think and do behind the scenes, this is one for you. This is an inspiring story of one man and his noble intentions as well as plenty to learn and take away, regardless of what you do or if you aspire to own a business.” –The National Student

“A ‘sustainability page-turner’ is not a description one often finds associated with books in the usually heavy-going world of corporate responsibility. In the case of The Battle to do Good: inside McDonald’s sustainability journey, just published in hardback by Emerald Publishing, the marketing claim rings true.” —Corporate Citizenship


Today’s—and tomorrow’s—companies must address social and environmental priorities as part of the core business. For organizations that want to succeed in light of the issues rather than despite them, leaders must locate the intersection of doing good for society and helping its business prosper.

By sharing the lessons learned from decades of front-line experience at McDonald’s, Bob Langert helps leaders do just that. The Battle To Do Good shows business leaders not only how—and why—to confront societal issues, but to embrace them in the knowledge that by doing good they can do well and help both their business and society prosper.

Packed with real-world anecdotes and countless lessons learned, The Battle To Do Good provides keen insight and practical tips for managers of companies large and small as they navigate this increasingly complex, interconnected world where good news travels at the speed of light—and bad news travels even faster.

Each chapter summarizes some “Hard Knock Lessons”–including insights into engaging with critics, crisis management, picking partners, playing offense vs. defense, and the 8 attributes of successful sustainable leaders.

The Battle to Do Good flyer

The Battle to Do Good excerpt chapter 2


Introduction; From Defense to Offense

  1. The Battle Against Waste: 
McDonald’s First Societal Clash
  2. The Battle for Farm Animals: 
How Animal Welfare Is Transformed
  3. The Battle of Extremism: McCruelty, 
Meat Is Murder
  4. The Battle to Be Proactive: 
Happy Meal Toys and the Ups and Downs of Anticipatory
Issues Management
  5. The Battle of the Waistline and Brand Health: 
The Obesity Dilemma and a Healthier Happy Meal
  6. The Battle for a Sustainable Supply Chain: 
From Silence to Sustainable Fish, Less Polluting Hogs, and Better Lives
for Tomato Pickers
  7. The Battle for Values: 
Can You Etch Them in Stone?
  8. The Battle Goes to the Board Room: 
A Shareholder Proposal Makes a Difference
  9. The Battle for the Amazon Rainforest: 
How Greenpeace Chickens Changed McDonald’s
  10. The Battle to Make a Pig’s Life Better: How Much Room Does a Sow Need?
  11. The Battle for Better Beef: The Quest for Sustainable Beef
  12. The Battle to Lead Both Business and Society: The Profits of Sustainability