Living Bibliography


Natural Capitalism Creating the next industrial revolution

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Little Brown
 — 1999

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,

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