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Stirring It Up: How to Make Money and Save the World Hardcover – January 8, 2008

4.6 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

When a CEO—or in this case a CE-Yo—writes a book about the philosophical and environmental underpinnings of the company he founded, it is natural to expect an ego-driven text. But Hirshberg, founder of Stonyfield Farm, the organic yogurt maker, dilutes the ego with eco. After all, this is a book that presents management lessons gleaned from life on a farm: in one such lesson, a herd of hungry pigs attacks a mound of damaged plastic yogurt cups, devours the contents and teaches Hirschberg nature's idea of recycling. While there is some cultured finger-pointing at big-name competitors and other corporations for organic abstinence and environmental insensitivity, Hirshberg focuses on how Stonyfield succeeds in pursuing sustainability and profitability—not to mention valuable shelf space alongside giants like Kraft and Yoplait. But in addition to describing how his company addresses such tasks as negating its own carbon footprint or establishing a handshake with the consumer in lieu of advertising, Hirshberg shares stories of similar successes at other companies, including Whole Foods, Timberland and, more recently, at Zipcar. Hirshberg has produced a manual of use for managers at any size company with an earnest interest in learning how to save the world while enriching employees and shareholders. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"It turns out that Americans can change the world one person at a time by doing what we do best: consuming consciously. Stirring It Up is really about how you can force business to behave better, simply by buying with your values, not just your money. And it works! -- Howard Dean, former governor of Vermont

"Most `CEO books' have a single focus: how to make more money. By broadening his goals to include sustainability, Gary Hirshberg is able to make any would-be entrepreneur think more deeply about what success will look like. As the world begins the process of downsizing from corporate gigantism to local economies that reflect the environmental realities of our new century, this book offers some important insight into the next stages on that journey." -- Bill McKibben, author Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and The Durable Future

"This is a must-read for every CEO of every company, big or small, who understands that a profitable company and a sustainable environment are mutually dependent." -- Tom Vilsack, former governor of Iowa

Gary Hirshberg dared to dream new ways of doing business based on respect for customers, employees, and the earth. And, it worked. If you buy or sell anything, or simply want to feel hopeful about the future, this lively and legitimately optimistic book is worth every minute. -- Robert Redford

Gary Hirshberg has done a masterful job telling the stories of cutting-edge companies that have found a way to increase profits and environmental sustainability at the same time. -- Ben Cohen, cofounder of Ben & Jerrys, chairman of Business Leaders for Sensible Priorities

Gary Hirshberg has seen the future and it is green! Read how he did it, and follow his every word! -- Laurie David, producer, author, global warming activist

Gary Hirshberg is an environmental activist, a leader in the organic movement, a successful businessman--and an optimist. In this provocative book, Hirshberg argues that market forces can save the world, instead of destroying it. I hope he's right. -- Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation

Gary Hirshberg is the real deal. He not only talks sustainability, he does sustainability. Now, in Stirring It Up, he shares with great clarity both his wisdom and his penchant for action. -- Ray C. Anderson, founder and chair of Interface, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion (January 8, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401303447
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401303440
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #896,352 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Hirshberg does a great job of showing how reducing a company's environmental impact can do wonders for the bottom line. As a businessman, he recognizes that telling people to buy a product because "it's the right thing to do" won't work. Instead, he focuses on producing a quality product using sustainable practices.

Unlike a lot of books written by CEO's, this one doesn't focus on just the author's company. He profiles about a dozen other companies (Terracycle, Patagonia, Timberland...) that are breaking new ground and making money with earth-friendly strategies.

One bonus feature - there are a number of coupons for products from Stonyfield and other profiles companies in the back of the book.
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Format: Hardcover
Gary Hirshberg is the CE-Yo (I'm not making that up) of Stonyfield Farms where they make great yogurt. I love it because it's good. It is also organic. For me, the yogurt eater, that is mostly irrelevant.

Hirshberg titled his book, Stirring It Up: How to Make Money and Save the World. The subtitle should be a clue that there are two kinds of material in this book.

There are the places where Hirshberg writes as if he's trying to pass some sort of environmentalist purity test. These are mostly long expository sections that may be of great interest to you. If so, read them. I found them stupifyingly boring most of the time.

If you're reading this as a business book, you may be tempted to write Gary Hirshberg off as a nut case. But consider the following.

His company makes a great product. The only limit on his production is the number of organically certified cows he can get to supply his farm and meet his standards. And his company makes a lot of money. That's why you want to pay attention to the other parts of the book.

The other parts of the book are where Hirshberg tells the story of his business and several other businesses including Timberlake and Patagonia. He tells about how Wal-Mart is making "environmentally friendly" changes to its operations because those changes are good business.

Those were the parts of interest to me. They are written in a less formal style. They are mostly stories. And there are a lot of lessons in them about business, business practices, and what both successful businesses and Mother Nature might have to teach us about them.

Here's an overview of the book.

The first chapter, Natural Profits, begins with the simple, but profound, observation that nature does not produce waste.
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Format: Hardcover
this is a great book because it shatters one of the big myths and that is that there, somehow, is a disconnect between being successful in business and doing something right for the earth

the stories about Timberland, Patagonia, and even Wal-Mart are really interesting and it's very interesting read - especially for a business book, something I rarely read

plus there are about $10 in coupons in the back for Stonyfield products :)
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Format: Hardcover
FDR once said ""We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals; we know now that it is bad economics."

The flipside of this is that not only is running your business with the environment in mind is not only good morals, it is good business, and Hirshberg, who has made millions incorporating earth-friendly practices into his business is proof, and this is a great, entertaining book that shows how he and others are lining their pockets and saving the planet at the same time. Kudos.
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Format: Hardcover
You may not be a CEO or working for a large corporation, but if you feel in your soul that you're going to change the world, read this book. It is a very business-oriented book and it also gets into specific business tactics and strategies that are green for the bottom line and the environment. However, reading about the success of Gary Hirshberg's "out-of-the-box" (pardon for the cliche) approach will grease the wheels in your head and inspire you to think bigger and more creatively.

The CE-Yo of Stoneyfield Farm Yogurt shares how he built a hugely successful business by implementing ecologically sound practices. The title sums up the book quite well. If you're already in business and just starting to think about how to be more eco-friendly, Hirshberg presents his solutions in the language of business. It's tactical, factual and straightforward.
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Format: Hardcover
As a Social Impact Consultant for some time, the standard question I would receive surrounded the idea of balance: how do I balance my requirement to make a profit with my desire to do good. This book provides numerous, practical examples. What I enjoyed most about it was GH's emphasis on sourcing such ideas and powering such initiatives from the employees within an organization. Sustainability as a concept is, itself, only sustainable, if everyone buys-in. A great read...and GH comes across as incredibly likable. That is something I feel is rare when reading books by an entrepreneur and innovator discussing their own success (Build-a-Bear book is quite similar in that regard).
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Format: Hardcover
This was the first book I read on sustainability as so many of them feel intimidating and daunting. This tells an entrepreneurial story in a very entertaining and easy to read way. During the course of reading you recognize not only are you learning something, but the way you think and look at the world starts to change. It stirs your hunger for more knowledge. Downside, makes me feel slightly more guilty to drive my truck.
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