SLEEPING LION2022-09-07T16:34:22+00:00

Ethical and Sustainable Business Leadership

Sarah Duncan

Since setting up Sleeping Lion over 15 years ago, I have worked with a wide range of companies providing business development, marketing consultancy and training.

Over the past few years my focus has shifted significantly towards ethical and sustainable business practices. My book, The Ethical Business Book, is a practical, non-preachy guide to business sustainability.

Through guest speaking, training and consultancy, I now help businesses understand the commercial and moral benefits of sustainable and ethical business practice (or ESG).

But to be clear, this is not an eco-war on commerce. Making a profit is not a bad thing, it’s how you make the profit and what you do with it that matters. I advise on how to make sustainability a genuine part of your business culture and day-to-day practice, not just a tick-box exercise (or race to be the ‘least bad’).

Why Sleeping Lion? I believe it’s not about how busy you are, it’s about effectiveness: trying to avoid all the time wasting trivia and focusing on the important stuff. A lion sleeps for over 18 hours day, and yet is still the undisputed king of the beasts. It is the master of minimal effort, maximum return.

This is at the heart of Sleeping Lion – keeping things simple, but having a big impact. When it comes to ethical and sustainable business practices, simplicity is also important. Transforming into a sustainable, environmentally conscious business can seem very daunting, but it is important to take it one step at a time. You’ll never achieve everything at once. Instead of being paralyzed by the sheer scale of the challenge, head towards the paths with the biggest impact. If every company can redefine what long-term success looks like, society and the planet will be in a much healthier place.

The Ethical Business Book

The Ethical Business Book is a practical, non-preachy guide to business sustainability (shortlisted and Highly Commended at the 2020 Business Book Awards). The book is a gateway to this complex area. It gets the reader started on all the important elements of ethical and sustainable business practice, but it is deliberately concise.

The Ethical Business Blog

Blog includes one page summaries of over 25 relevant ethical and business sustainability books, content from The Ethical Business Book, more of my own articles and other useful resources.

B Corp

Having followed the movement closely, and having met some pretty cool people involved, we decided to go for it – and I’m proud to say we are now a Certified B Corp.

We are just a micro business, but even so this has been such an enlightening experience. We now have a much clearer view on what the point of our business is, and how we can continue to develop it (in a positive way).

The Sustainable Business Book

Out March 2023.

Building a resilient modern business is a constant juggling act. If you want to get to grips with the sustainability agenda and apply it properly to your company, you are going to need a proper system rather than a haphazard series of well-intentioned but half-baked initiatives. That’s why we invented The PLANET System®.


In 2019, I joined forces with my husband and Sleeping Lion became part of Expert Advice. We have since worked together on a number of projects and offer a range of products, services and training (largely based on our Concise Advise business books).

Expert Advice / Sleeping Lion Training and Consultancy

SME Toolkit

I have always loved working with SMEs, start-ups, incubators, and fast growth businesses – where there is loads of passion and drive, but not the high level of resources available to the big guys. So I’ve put together a range of tools and exercises (that I think are particularly useful) that anyone can download here for free. Basically everything you need to focus and align your product, people, brand and marketing strategies. If you require help with any of these, I can run bespoke training sessions.