A visionary new program that businesses can follow to help restore the planet.
Before I read this book, I used to think that business and the environment were inherently at odds. But then I realized that this doesn't have to be the case. According to Hawken, the problem lies in our economic system's design, and no amount of management or programs is going to change that. In order to make things better, we're going to have to rethink our economic structure, and in that possibility is where Mr. Hawken finds hope. As he so eloquently put it:
"To create an enduring society, we will need a system of commerce and production where each and every act is inherently sustainable and restorative...Just as every action in an industrial society leads to environmental degradation, regardless of intention, we must design a system where the opposite is true, where doing good is like falling off a log, where the natural, everyday acts of work and life accumulate into a better world as a matter of course, not as a matter of conscious altruism." (Hawken, p.Read more ›
The concept is simple. Everyone has a misconception that profits and capitalism come at the price of environmental destruction. This divides the issue into sides. But it's a myth. We can make money and restore the the biosphere fairly easily. It will create jobs, increase quality in the economy, increase market efficiency, and change our end-of-the-pipe focus on pollution.
The criticism that seems to apear on this book most often is that there is a lack of detail on how to execute a cohesive vision. I think this misses the point. The author does suggest a few macro-level actions in adopting Pigovian taxes and rethinking trade agreements. But for the most part, he makes a good case for things we can do as individuals. No one person will change everything overnight... but we can be a part of the solution.