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Greed to Green: The Transformation of an Industry and a Life

4.6 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews


"Narconomics"
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

A business organization's obligations to its shareholders create a bottom-line mentality that often seems at odds with social responsibility, but this author argues that conscientious companies actually fare better over the long haul. Gottfried has struggled with the difficulties of creating a profitable business that utilizes sustainable resources and provides healthy products to consumers. He was a successful commercial real estate developer in the 1980s who took on the building and construction industry to become the leading proponent of energy efficiency in large buildings. His U.S. Green Building Council implements innovative real-world solutions for environmentally responsible and healthy workplaces. David Siegfried
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

A business organization's obligations to its shareholders create a bottom-line mentality that often seems at odds with social responsibility, but this author argues that conscientious companies actually fare better over the long haul. Gottfried has struggled with the difficulties of creating a profitable business that utilizes sustainable resources and provides healthy products to consumers. He was a successful commercial real estate developer in the 1980s who took on the building and construction industry to become the leading proponent of energy efficiency in large buildings. His U.S. Green Building Council implements innovative real-world solutions for environmentally responsible and healthy workplaces. --David Siegfried, Booklist Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

A remarkable story of a remarkable transformation. David Gottfried's efforts transform[ed] the building industry and himself. Amory Lovins, Cofounder and CEO Rocky Mountain Institute, coauthor of Natural Capitalism Gottfried led the way into the uncharted territory of environmentally responsible construction. Be inspired to create your own legacy. Ray Anderson, Founder and Chair, Interface, Inc., author Mid-Course Correction. In sharing a life well-directed, we know that everything is possible if we love the world as David has. --Paul Hawken, Author of Ecology of Commerce and Growing a Business, coauthor of Natural Capitalism
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 263 pages
  • Publisher: WorldBuild Publishing (March 15, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0974432601
  • ISBN-13: 978-0974432601
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,101,999 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Mr. Gottfried's book finds the perfect mix of anecdotal inspiration and real-world pragmatic knowledge as he recounts the formation of an organization that wants to improve the world. It's easy to feel his personal struggle as he tries to reconcile his drive to succeed with his passion for environmental change. It's not always easy, and it's not always pretty, but it's incredibly inspiring. For all of us who are trying hard to figure out how to make money and make the earth a better place, this book tells us: we are not alone.
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Format: Paperback
Greed to Green is a rollicking tale of David Gottfried's journey from self proclaimed greedy developer to one of the world's leading proponents of Green Development.
The story tracks the remarkable drive and determination it took for David and a growing band of like minded people to begin the transformation of the building industry in the US - a transformation that has now taken substantial hold, via the work of the body that David founded - the US Green Building Council.
Whilst the results of David's efforts are impressive in their own right, David also provides insight to his personal journey - and some of the human factors which drive people to achieve remarkable things - the search for love and recognition from a demanding father, the traps of following convention and money, over dreams and personal values, and the inner tension of seeking to match personal values to your life's work.
The tale shows both how much a dedicated individual can affect change by working with others and leading the way, and how much our outer worldly jouneys are a reflection of our inner, personal journeys. One senses that there will be a follow up book one day, chronicalling an even deeper progression to come.
David's journey will be an inspiration to anyone who dreams of a better world and wants to do something about it.
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By A Customer on April 6, 2004
Format: Paperback
David Gottfried's story of his quest to be true to himself is a warts and all behind the scenes look at the life of a guy who could have taken the safe, easy road and kept making big bucks as a developer. But instead he took a big chance, followed his heart and his morals, and set off on a journey to do something more than line his pockets.
Most of us dream of doing something great, something that will make the world a better place. This is the story of someone who did just that, who fought back his fears and doubts and kept going long after most would have stopped. That journey completely changed his life, and is revolutionizing the $500 billion dollar construction and remodeling industry.
Imagine -- a $500 billion industry that is now competing on the healthiness of its products and methods. Bravo!
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Format: Paperback
Like a number of folks, I got David's book at the USGBC Conference in Pittsburg, and I'm thinking 'this will be an interesting walk down memory lane and the early days of the green building movement, but probably interesting to a relatively limited audience.' I couldn't have been more off base. This one has it all -- sex, violence (OK, just a bit of yelling) and a candid look at a personal journey toward truly changing the world. I found it hard to put down, and I have a perspective on the birth of the Green Building Council that is new and refreshing, and not at all like the one I had prior to reading the book. This one's a jewel.
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Format: Paperback
I recieved the book at the USGBC conference. I read it through in one reading. The perspective the author chose, his candor and the style made it very readable. The book made an inpact on me. I found it inspiring that something so positive came out of the pioneering work of a small group of people and the persistance and commitment of the author to the cause. It this point in 2004 it is incredible to see the positive impact the work of the USGBC has had and continues to have. I think the book will promote positive change and is worth your time and money.
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Format: Paperback
I thought that this book would be a hard read, as are most environmental books. Instead, I found the story refreshing and a pleasure to read. I stayed up most of the night finishing it. Most inspirational was the last chapter -- Greening My Life. I'm going to start working on my own Life Balance Sheet immediately. It was helpful and insightful to read about Gottfried's two epiphanies as he struggled to change his life from "greed" to "green". This is an important path and lesson for all of us -- if we are going to change this world.
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By A Customer on April 15, 2004
Format: Paperback
What a fantastic, inspirational tale of a personal and professional journey of real change for the better -- especially within an industry that has such profound implications to our earth's resources. The writing is simple and understandable, yet it is David Gottfried's story that stands out and brings hope for all of us. His vision is remarkable and we all should learn from what he has to offer.
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Format: Paperback
This book is wonderful! I learned so much about the story of the USGBC and the people who brought it to fruition. I love that it is written to let the reader into the story of David's life and the 'family' of the green building industry. It's inspiring and motivating to anyone who wishes to make a change in their personal or professional lives!
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