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Down to Earth: Applying Business Principles to Environmental Management Hardcover – January 1, 2000

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Editorial Reviews


"Well-written, business-like book, making the business case for taking environmental issues seriously." -- Business Ethics, September-October 1999

About the Author

Forest Reinhardt is an associate professor at Harvard Business School.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 291 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press (January 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1578511925
  • ISBN-13: 978-1578511921
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,822,729 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Bill Godfrey on February 23, 2005
I found this book extremely disappointing. The author takes a narrow view of how an individual firm can improve its competitive position by 'playing the environmental card'. Although he cites von Weisäcker et al: Factor Four, he does not seem to be aware of the literature that takes a much more systemic view of how to reconcile ecological sustainability, economic efficiency and commercial success. The book is perhaps useful in that it vividly demonstrates the limitations of a perspective that is centered on the individual corporation and its immediate competitive advantage with a rather blinkered view both of the scope for innovation and the wider macroeconomic framework within which business operates.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By M. R. Greenberg on January 4, 2008
The first reviewer said it all better than I could, but I'd just like to add that it's an ultimately cynical book, with its thinly veiled implication that CEOs cannot, will not, and should not embrace an ecologically friendly vision, nor consider their beneficial role in the local community and the larger supply chain.

Reinhardt cites some of the worst corporate citizens by any stretch of the imagination such as Monsanto, and gives footnote-ish lip service to the fact that they're "controversial". Too bad the word "green washing" isn't in his vocabulary but instead euphemisms such as "redefining the market". Right. Way to promote the status quo with self-fulfilling prophecy.

Thankfully, this book is rated #383,000 in sales. I still can't get over that this was one of the texts for a class I took. Maybe it makes a good ironic choice?
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