Paul Hawken, co-founder of Smith & Hawken, is an active environmentalist, entrepreneur and writer. In The Ecology of Commerce, Hawken proposes tha...morePaul Hawken, co-founder of Smith & Hawken, is an active environmentalist, entrepreneur and writer. In The Ecology of Commerce, Hawken proposes that businesses in the developed world reduce their consumption of energy and resources by 80 percent in the next 50 years. Hawken also says that business goals should include criteria such as whether or not the work is “aesthetically pleasing” or whether the employees are enjoying their work time. Hawken includes large corporations and small business in his proposal. The culture of business being promoted in this book is one in which the environment is also allowed to flourish and grow. Reviewers suggest that while “Wall Street may not be ready” for what is a “provocative” summary of ideas, the book makes compelling arguments and introduces fresh ideas. Hawken’s rhetoric sounds overly pessimistic at times, according to reviews by Publishers Weekly and the Library Journal, and some of his suggestions assume harsher standards, that make it more difficult to “go green.” However that is what these times call for and physicist and systems theorist Fritjof Capra called the book the first “extensive, truly ecological analysis of business,” and an “essential” read. (less)
Frank argues in One Market Under God that the “new economy” that emerged in the 1990’s was not as successful and beneficial as the mainstream might th...moreFrank argues in One Market Under God that the “new economy” that emerged in the 1990’s was not as successful and beneficial as the mainstream might think, and that market populism is a faulty theory, promoted by corporate and partisan interests. Frank pointed out the relationship between banking practices in the 90s with those in the 1930s, and showed the way the income disparity between the very rich and very poor has steadily increased. The New York Times, considers the book enlightening and important in the understanding of corporate culture and how it has changed in the last decades. (less)
One Report discusses a new trend in business in which companies go beyond reports for financial and nonfinancial results and turn both into a single i...moreOne Report discusses a new trend in business in which companies go beyond reports for financial and nonfinancial results and turn both into a single integrated report. Many also use the Internet to provide more detailed information and higher levels of engagement for their stakeholders. This kind of ‘integrated’ reporting adds value to the company and its stakeholders. Eccles provides several case studies as well as ways in which companies can move toward One Report and make it a foundation for sustainable strategy. The idea behind integrated reporting lies in a web-based approach that make reporting engaging and efficient. Reviewers say that the endorsement of integrated reporting is a “compelling” case for public and private companies. The creation of what many consider a potentially better corporate reporting system allows for the integration of financial, environmental and social reporting, and a focus on the ability of a company to operate in an environmentally responsible way. (less)
Diamond expounds his theory that a primary causes for why societies from the Viking colonies to present-day Rwanda have fallen apart are ecological ca...moreDiamond expounds his theory that a primary causes for why societies from the Viking colonies to present-day Rwanda have fallen apart are ecological catastrophes combined with society’s tendency to disregard warning signs before such disasters. Diamond draws on present-day examples of towns in decline due to depleted natural resources to make the case that often, economic and environmental concerns go hand-in-hand. Looking into patterns of population growth, overfarming, overgrazing and hunting and other such factors he links them to cycles of deforestation, erosion and starvation wrought by the extinction of plant and animal food sources. Despite today’s technological advances, civilization is still far from solving the problems that wiped out primitive communities. Reviewers generally agree that Collapse raises an extremely important question in asking how we can prevent modern societies from ecological collapse. However, some critics have questioned his case studies, including his discussion of the Easter Islands, as not having enough evidence to support any claims as such. (less)
Daly provides a ‘blueprint’ for a decentralized economy built around small communities and makes specific proposals, including a tax on industrial pol...moreDaly provides a ‘blueprint’ for a decentralized economy built around small communities and makes specific proposals, including a tax on industrial polluters, worker participation in management and ownership, reduced military spending and a more self-sufficient national economy, with a lower volume of imports. Intended mainly for economists, the book essentially deconstructs neoclassical economic theory and creates a more ‘holistic’ model that pulls together the idea of the individual, the community and the natural world. Daly discusses the problems with contemporary economic thought as well as suggested policy changes that would lead to an economic society based on community and ecology. Reviews note that Daly provides a crucial “theoretical edge to the tenets of environmental faith.” (Scott London) The book serves as a strong leader in a new way of thinking about economics that pays special tribute to the community, environment and future generations. (less)
Plan B 2.0, the second in Brown’s Plan B series, looks into green development and the ecological destruction across the globe caused by rapid industri...morePlan B 2.0, the second in Brown’s Plan B series, looks into green development and the ecological destruction across the globe caused by rapid industrialization and the “throwaway economy,” consisting of oil and water shortages, pollution and deforestation. Brown proposes solutions involving sustainable agriculture, wildlife and resource conservation, renewable energy and recycling, among other things. Brown’s solution also includes a $161 billion yearly budget and environmental taxes to make the economy more eco-friendly. Reviewers have suggested that while Brown’s propositions are practical and his statistics “intriguing,” they are presented in a somewhat disorganized manner, and lack the “meticulous” cost-benefit analysis required for the subject. However, it is widely considered a great launchpad for discussion on an environmentally friendly economy. (less)
This collection of 19 essays on agrarian America and the country’s present relationship between agriculture and community addresses national and inter...moreThis collection of 19 essays on agrarian America and the country’s present relationship between agriculture and community addresses national and international issues. Berry campaigns against processes of globalization that destroy small enterprises. Reviewers write that although Berry’s prose is superlative, there is a certain element of force and relevance that is missing, and could be brought about by Berry modernizing his arguments.
Anderson’s book recounts his personal experience as founder and CEO of the carpet company Interface. He recounts the process of transforming the compa...moreAnderson’s book recounts his personal experience as founder and CEO of the carpet company Interface. He recounts the process of transforming the company from a profit-driven company to one heavily focused on reducing waste. The book explains his realization of the environmental harm his company was doing, and provides a tangible and inspiring example of how corporations can dramatically change the sustainability of their practices.(less)