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Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution [Paperback]

Paul Hawken , Amory Lovins , L. Hunter Lovins
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (109 customer reviews)

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Book Description

December 1, 2008 9780316353007 978-0316353007 1st
This groundbreaking book reveals how today's global businesses can be both environmentally responsible and highly profitable.

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Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution + Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things + Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In Natural Capitalism, three top strategists show how leading-edge companies are practicing "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 ultralight, aerodynamic, and fueled by hybrid gas-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 such as housing, contend Hawken, author of a book and PBS series called Growing a Business, and the Lovinses, who cofounded and directed the Rocky Mountain Institute, an environmental think tank. The book is a fascinating and provocative read for public-policy makers, as well as environmentalists and capitalists alike. --Dan Ring --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Hawken (The Ecology of Commerce) and Amory and Hunter Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute, an environmental think tank, have put together an ambitious, visionary monster of a book advocating "natural capitalism." The short answer to the logical question (What is natural capitalism?) is that it is a way of thinking that seeks to apply market principles to all sources of material value, most importantly natural resources. The authors have two related goals: first, to show the vast array of ecologically smart options available to businesses; second, to argue that it is possible for society and industry to adopt them. Hawken and the Lovinses acknowledge such barriers as the high initial costs of some techniques, lack of knowledge of alternatives, entrenched ways of thinking and other cultural factors. In looking at options for transportation (including the development of ultralight, electricity-powered automobiles), energy use, building design, and waste reduction and disposal, the book's reach is phenomenal. It belongs to the galvanizing tradition of Frances Moore Lapp?'s Diet for a Small Planet and Stewart Brand's The Whole Earth Catalog. Whether all that the authors have organized and presented so earnestly here can be assimilated and acted on by the people who run the world is open to question. But readers with a capacity for judicious browsing and grazing can surely learn enough in these pages to apply well-reasoned pressure. Charts and graphs, with accompanying CD-ROM. (Oct.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: US Green Building Council; 1st edition (December 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780316353007
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316353007
  • ASIN: 0316353000
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (109 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,407 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
139 of 153 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Natural Capitalism Right on the Money February 1, 2000
Format:Hardcover
In the summer of 1999, the Harvard Business Review treated the business community to a glimpse of a bold new model for business and industry in the 21st century. The HBR has been filling requests ever since for the article by Amory Lovins, L. Hunter Lovins and Paul Hawken titled "A Road Map for Natural Capitalism." The article described how businesses could profit by employing strategies built around a more productive use of natural resources. The authors explained in a very practical, yet compelling manner how these strategies could go a long way toward solving many current environmental problems.
Business readers and anyone concerned about the changing global economy and its impact on the ecosystem will want more than copies of the HBR article once they realize it was actually a tantalizing synopsis of the authors' new book, "Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution" (Little, Brown, 1999). This important book can take its place alongside such touchstone volumes as "Future Shock," "Megatrends " and "The New New." The authors describe in vivid detail how business and industry can gain competitive advantage through a new business model based on doing much more with much less.
The authors set out to prove that changing realities of the information economy and global competitiveness are already transforming industry and commerce in ways unforeseen even a few years ago. The new business model takes into account the values of all forms of "capital" including human, manufactured, financial, and natural.
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53 of 56 people found the following review helpful
By Spark
Format:Hardcover
Throughout this extensively researched book, the three authors (Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins and Hunter Lovins) eloquently describe the mind-set required of businesses that wish to evolve their models of business successfully into the next millennium.
By providing a mix of real-world examples, coupled with logical extensions to the philosophies that have dominated main stream economic theories for the majority of the 20th century - the authors allow us to peak through the curtain - to catch a glimpse of what the world will be like in 50 years time.
Natural Capitalism espouses a vision of a world where long term profit is the driving force behind global strategy, where 'whole system thinking' dominates rather than simplistic compartmentalised agendas.
We have only just discovered the technologies that allow us to assess the impact of the techno-industrial systems which we have grown over the past 150 years. With a little imagination, and a lot of logic Natural Capitalism gently points out the way forward. Toward a trajectory where the (re)application of such systems can construct a new environment, together with the economic opportunities and rewards that come from such an evolution...
This a must read book for all entrepreneurs, businessmen, politicians, researchers, economists, environmentalists, educationalists in fact just about anybody who wishes to live both comfortably, profitably and in harmony during the next century. It argues for an extension to the economic theories that pervade organisational thinking, for a more realistic assessment of the life cycle costs involved in business processes, and above all for a more realistic assessment of the value of natural resources.
This book will help you think. This book will help you live. This book will help you work. This book will help add value to your life... READ IT!
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90 of 102 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond Darwin January 4, 2000
Format:Hardcover
As this new century begins, if there is only one book which everyone on the planet should read, it would be Natural Capitalism. Why is it so important? In my opinion, because it provides the most convincing, the most compelling argument in support of Wendell Berry's assertion that "what is good for the world will be good for us." Darwin's concept of natural selection becomes irrelevant if there is no environment in which such selection can occur. The authors introduce us to "The Next Industrial Revolution" with all oif its emerging possibilities. In subsequent chapters, they continue to examine natural capitalism in terms of "four central strategies": radical resource productivity, biomimicry, service and flow economy, and investment in it. According to the authors, natural capitalism "is about choices we can make that can start to tip economic and social outcomes in positive directions. And it is already occurring -- because it is necessary, possible, and practrical." For me, the information provided in Chapter 3 was almost incomprehensible in terms of the nature and extent of waste. Of the $9 trillion spent every year in the United States, at least $2 trillion is wasted annually. How? For example: Highway accidents ($150 billion), highway congestion ($100 billion in lost productivity), total hidden costs of driving (nearly $1 trillion), nonessential/fraudulent healthcare ($65 billion), inflated and unnecessary medical overhead ($250 billion), and crime ($450 billion). All of this waste can and should be reduced, if not eliminated. What the authors present, in effect, is a blueprint for the survival of the planet. All manner of statistical evidence supports their specific recommendations. Unless "The Next Industrial Revolution" succeeds in implementing those recommendations, natural capitalism will eventually be depleted ...and no one left to regret its loss.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Best environmental book
Reading this book changed my attitude about what I did with my trash. Read it and you'll understand why and I know most people should.
Published 25 days ago by Mikkita
5.0 out of 5 stars A very important book
Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins and L Hunter Lovins predict a new industrial revolution where farsighted companies will respond to environmental limitations and climate change by... Read more
Published 3 months ago by P. Mulloy
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING!
This is one of the most amazing books I have ever read. Brilliantly written. I find myself looking back and highlighting passages again and again. I often quote it as well
Published 5 months ago by Matthew T John
4.0 out of 5 stars Review
This is good book for my class. I enjoyed using it throughout the semester and possibly for further use if I need to.
Published 5 months ago by Ashley Dominguez
5.0 out of 5 stars Win-win strategies as a way out of this trouble we got 'ourselves' /...
While an 'Inconvenient Truth' left us with a bedazzling realization that we really have little time left, and should get on (with) it, so to speak, this book, its authors, show us... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Diamonds
3.0 out of 5 stars Great
Paul Hawken wrote about a green capitalism. Nothing will change in this new world, unfortunately . We need a real revolution and evolution.
Published 6 months ago by M. Maciel
5.0 out of 5 stars Creative Solutions
Lovins discusses many creative and new ways to look past the current market distortions to view capital in a new way. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Mountaincatbob
5.0 out of 5 stars Congress should spend its time getting the ideas expressed in this...
This is one of the most books I have ever read on economics and the environment. The idea that "NATURE " should be considered an accounted for as much a part of... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this book!
This is a book that every person interested in sustainability and business should read! It is also written in a way that is very engaging.
Published 14 months ago by Tarah Hines
5.0 out of 5 stars This book does not even look like it has been opened.
I began reading this book online as supplemental reading in my economics class. I was happy to receive my own copy in the mail. It is in brand new condition. Very happy.
Published 16 months ago by S Page
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