In Natural Capitalism,
three top strategists show how leading-edge companies are practising "a new type of industrialism" that is more efficient and profitable while saving the environment and creating jobs. Paul Hawken and Amory and Hunter Lovins write that in the next century cars will get 200 miles per gallon without compromising safety and power, manufacturers will relentlessly recycle their products and the world's standard of living will jump without further damaging natural resources. "Is this the vision of a utopia? In fact, the changes described here could come about in the decades to come as the result of economic and technological trends already in place," the authors write. They call their approach "natural capitalism" because it's based on the principle that business can be good for the environment. For instance, Interface of Atlanta doubled revenues and employment and tripled profits by creating an environmentally friendly system of recycling floor coverings for businesses.
The authors also describe how the next generation of cars is closer than we might think. Manufacturers are already perfecting vehicles that are ultra-light, aerodynamic and fuelled by hybrid electric systems. If natural capitalism continues to blossom, so much money and resources will be saved that societies will be able to focus on issues like housing, contends Hawken, author of a book and US TV series called Growing a Business, and the Lovinses, who co- founded and directed the Rocky Mountain Institute, an environmental think tank in the US. The book is a fascinating and provocative read for public policy makers, as well as environmentalists and capitalists. --Dan Ring, Amazon.com
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'This is a huge deal' Bill Clinton 'An analysis of how capitalism would work if the world's 'natural capital' were properly valued, resulting in a drastic reduction in resource use by industrialised countries' The Financial Times 'A powerful, visionary statement by three of the world's leading consultants on the greening of business' The Times Higher Education Supplement 'If any book can be said to usher in a hopeful new age, it's this' Jonathon Porritt, Director, Forum for the Future 'Leaves every reader with the hope that the old battle between business and the environment can reach a peaceful and constructive conclusion' Frances Cairncross, The Economist 'The whole concept of natural capital manages to be both pragmatic and idealistic which, in my book, adds up to inspirational' Anita Roddick, The Body Shop International 'This is smart, strategic thinking' The Independent 'Includes a wealth of real examples...The authors provide a boldly practical way forward' The Times 'Points the way to a world where the profit motive and social responsibility march hand in hand' John Quelch, Dean, London Business School 'This book is awash with ideas and is meant for a wide readership... Ultimately, this is a universal call to action so that it is really meant for everyone.' Progress in Development Studies 'This book makes an important contribution, with many valuable insights, to the debate on the changes needed to secure a future for humankind and life on Earth.' Brian Leslie, Sustainable Economics, August 2010.