You cannot address social justice issues without environmental justice. The world has changed in the seventeen years since the controversial initial publication of Paul Hawken's Ecology of Commerce, a stirring treatise about the perceived antagonism between ecology and business. Both were bestsellers, both dealt head-on with climate change, both were prescient, and both were soon forgotten in policy circles. Nothing could be further from the truth. The revised version is like visiting a great city after a twenty year absence. If customers demand the cheapest possible product, a business is required to pursue whatever path is necessary to achieve this. Hawkin lays out a semi-theoretical framework for ecologically restorative businesses that at the time had a few examples in the real world.
Then as now, the country was sorting through a banking collapse pervaded by duplicity, fraud, flouting of regulation, and the enrichment of a small elite at the expense of taxpayers. We would be ecstatic, delirious, made rapturous by the glory of God. In such an environment, a large business cannot be expected to take into consideration externalities such as environmental damage, because such things are simply irrelevant to their stated goals. The book highlights that issues concerning big business and the future of the planet are still not being addressed as seriously as they should be. I really appreciated how Hawken thinks within the languages of business and economics to describe ecological problems and propose solutions to the crisis our planet is in.
His writings have appeared in the Harvard Business Review, Inc magazine, the Boston Globe, the Utne Reader, and more than a hundred other publications. Paul Hawken has succeeded in showing that business is just as necessary to our lives as government, and we must understand the natures of both as well as we understand our own proclivities in order to create the utopian world of a restorative economy, which is not the far-off fantasy which marketing groups, executives and corporate lawyers would like you to think. Reduce carbon emissions of energy 80 percent by 2030 and total natural resource usage 80 percent by 2050. Business will need to integrate economic, biologic, and human systems to create a sustainable method of commerce. Instead of thanking everyone, I stood there in silence, suddenly realizing that my company did not deserve the award and that no one else did, either. What would such a system look like? Restoration is far more compelling than the algebra of sustainability.
That's also the sadness: the issues that Hawken describes are still issues today. The end result is that the least-destructive product will always cost - and be priced - the least - a profound contrast with our present situation. An informative and well written analysis of capitalism and its future. These books, rather than being about environmental solutions are only about environmental problems. That would not have been remarkable were it not for the fact that my two previous books, The Next Economy and Growing a Business, were reviewed by over 200 publications. This is a staple of the environmental movement and a must read for those interested in climate change and environmental issues who isn't? About the Author Paul Hawken Paul Hawken's bestselling books include Blessed Unrest, Natural Capitalism, and The Next Economy.
Let's create new ones that work. In the words of biologist Janine Benyus, life creates the conditions that are conducive to life. It is the present take-make-waste system that has over 1 billion people who want a job unemployed. This, from the vantage point of 2014, with even more evidence that our notions of democracy and participation are skewed to favor large, multinational corporations. It's hopeful that the knowledge and technology exists to enable businesses to operate in socially and environmenta The ideas in this book seem like common sense, yet the government, businesses, and consumers continue to ignore these ideas and give in to greed and materialism rather than doing what's right for the world. Today, every major corporation in the world has to address environmental issues in its reporting and communications, if not its products and services. Chapters 1—3, 6, and 7 address this.
Ray took the book to heart on all levels and used it to draft an environmental message to his staff in 1994. He also goes into social implications of bad business practices. In revising the new edition, I tried to bring it up to date without losing its original voice. The Ecology of Commerce is a good start. He also discusses many ways in which we could lessen our huge impact on the environment, which basically focus on corporations and not citizen taxpayer dollars being responsible for cleaning up their own environmental mess. In buying products indiscriminately, in making un-informed decisions, we are endorsing the terrible behaviour in which our businesses engage - as he states - the till is the polling station of our world, and to willingly purchase battery eggs marks you as uninformed, or a wicked, worthless piece of shit.
It's really quite important now more than ever. In order to accomplish this, he establishes a clear twelve-chapter plan in which he discusses the problems that we face, the nature of commerce and large businesses, and potential solutions, finally concluding in the magnificent crescendo that is the final chapter. It will take collective grass root up efforts to ensure that the next 15 years are different. In the current economy we seek to minimize economic costs and maximize profits while ignoring most everything else. I found the problems of the current economy well stated and many novel solutions presented. To live in that future, we require a design. I don't even know how to begin describing how great this book is.
It was translated into fourteen languages. Containing updated and revised material for a new audience, The Ecology of Commerce presents a compelling vision of the restorative rather than destructive economy we must create, centered on eight imperatives: Reduce energy carbon emissions 80 percent by 2030 and total natural resource usage 80 percent by 2050. This book approaches the subjects of business, sustainability, the environment and our role in how those elements intertwine. What I see everywhere in the world are ordinary people willing to confront despair, power, and incalculable odds in order to restore some semblance of grace, justice, and beauty to this world. These books annoy me because they make democrats, liberals, conservationists, environmentalists, etc out to be preachy and self-righteous, which does a disservice to us all. One of Cambridge Sustainability's Top 50 Books for Sustainability, as voted for by our alumni network of over 3,000 senior leaders from around the world. To learn more about cookies, including how to disable them, view our.