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on April 29, 2013
I learned much from reading Auden Schendler's Getting Green Done. Specifically, I learned what commitment it takes to pursue sustainable business practices in firms because of the organizational inertia as well as the fear, uncertainty and doubt that any new project for business must overcome. As Schendler says so well, "if sustainability were cheap and easy, businesses would have achieved it by now" (page 119), One aspect of the sustainable business practices movement that Schendler displays well is the embrace of transparency. Failures, semi-failures, short-lived successes and triumphs of the Aspen Skiing Company are presented so that others in the movement will be motivated to pursue projects that will reduce the carbon footprint of a firm's operations. In one episode described as "winning ugly", a marketer in the company had to leave the firm in order for post-consumer recycled paper to be used in marketing materials and trails maps for the Aspen ski resort. What might surprise some, Schendler chastises environmentalists that carry too much baggage from the 1970's counter culture because such environmentalists raise concerns about the intentions of those like Schendler who want to change business from the inside.

Schendler has a winsome manner of writing that clarifies the realities of "going green". For example, after reviewing the movement for green buildings, Schendler levels criticism at LEED certification for mystifying the process for greening a building. He then follows with the concise recommendations of an experienced builder of green buildings who says to simply make the building without air leaks, to beef up the insulation conent, and to give it a southern exposure (in the northern hemisphere). Schendler highlights such cogent communication as the type that is necessary to market the greening of business in the future. After reading passages like this one in Getting Green Done, I felt like I had received an insider's wisdom about the nitty-gritty of making sustainable business practices succeed. Such insights should give almost all readers more confidence in working with issues related to sustainable business practices.
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on April 2, 2014
I was required to read this book for a class I am in, but I couldn't be happier about reading this book. It has a practical approach for the trials and triumphs dealing with sustainability. This book is reader friendly and entertaining throughout. I would recommend this book for a book enthusiast, sustainably minded individual, or the casual person interested in learning about how to view sustainability in a practical way. I found this book inspiring and it was great to read about sustainability/green movement from a stand point of "mishaps or failures." Read this book, you won't regret it.
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on May 25, 2013
This book should be compulsory reading for politicians and decision-makers around the world. Auden tells his story without trying to make himself look like a hero. He made good decisions and bad decisions and as a world we need to know that having a go; really trying to "get green done" is more important than getting it right every time. We will make mistakes, but the biggest mistake of all is to think it's all too hard and do nothing.
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on November 4, 2015
Honestly one of the best books I have read in my environmental science program. I loved the way Auden thinks, and he even spoke in our class via Skype. Highly recommend the book.
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on August 29, 2013
Auden bring froth the dirty little secret about going green - it is not that easy. A collection of real life stories from the front-lines of a energy intensive industry (with an Eco-ethos, however). The writing is clear, the stories poignant, and the lessons applicable for anyone struggling to implement green operations at their organization.
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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.
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on February 26, 2009
Schendler captures exactly what is needed today in the shift of businesses towards sustainability.

Reminds me of the timeliness and urgency of Hawken's "The Ecology of Commerce" back in the mid 1990s. But times are different and Schendler has an updated message -- it is time to roll up our sleeves, get REAL, and make things happen on the ground.

As a sustainability professional for 20 years, I highly recommend "Getting Green Done."

Drew Jones, Sustainability Institute
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on July 21, 2013
The truth is hard, but I'm glad to have a point of view that helps put my work into perspective. This book was useful in many levels to help in motivating people to work towards sustainable resource use. Many good reasons for all perspectives. An enjoyable read too. Thanks.
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on August 30, 2013
Awesome book - I totally support his ideas - government regulation is the ONLY way to sustainability - not only at the corporate level...anywhere
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on December 5, 2014
A little disappointing, but somewhat informative.
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