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Getting Green Done? Or just complaining about it?
on September 7, 2009
Purchasing this title, I expected to gain insight into how to "Get Green Done". But instead this book is more of rant on how difficult it is to implement green ideas. ( I didn't need to purchase this title to know that.) I suppose walking in the author's shoes helps some readers gain an insight into the difficulties those of us who are facility managers, and other implementers in the environmental sustainability movement, have getting energy efficiency and other emissions reduction actions funded and installed. I did not gain a significant insight into how to overcome traditional inhibitors and boundaries. As a global energy efficiency manager for a major manufacturer, reading this text unfortunately confirmed what I already knew. I felt like someone was recording the last 10 years of my career, putting it down in text for all to read. I suspect that any active participant in the environmental sustainability movement, especially those working in or consulting for Corporate America, will have the same opinion.
All is not bad, though. There are some interesting facts & figures. Along with plenty of editorial commentary and viewpoint, some of which I don't totally agree with. But the point of an editorial is to share an opinion and initiate your own thought. I just didn't know this was what I was purchasing.
Ignore the accolades the book has received, most being from colleagues and acquaintances of the author. Also be wary of quantified information, since the data that I'm familiar with first-hand is wrong. "Ford spent $2 billion at greening its Rouge auto plant in Dearborn..." Auden, it was $317M, not $2B. Ooops! "...they decided to install a green roof...planted with grasses" Wrong again, Auden. It's a mixture of sedum and other low growing groundcovers, installed to help address a storm water management issue at the site. Ouch! "And the roof leaks" Sorry, Auden, that roof does not leak. Wait a minute, did you even talk to Ford or visit the Rouge?!? Don't bother answering, I know where these `facts' came from. Of all the articles and publications written about the greening of the Rouge, there is one inaccurate article floating around the 'net with the exact same inaccuracies. Where did the author get his facts? From Google searches and Wikipedia? The inaccuracy of these and other facts made me question the author's research and attention to detail. The author's bias toward Toyota and Honda is also disappointing.
This book is an entertaining read, I'll give the author that much. And I'm sure many bits of information are correct. Just take a tip from a fellow green industry insider...verify your facts before sharing.
I'm sure the author feels better after getting all this frustration off his chest. Personally, I'm still searching for a book regarding the implementation of sustainable solutions that beats Natural Capitalism by Amory Lovins.