Natural Capitalism: The Next Industrial Revolution

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9781853834615: Natural Capitalism: The Next Industrial Revolution
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The first Industrial Revolution inaugurated 200 years of unparalleled material development for humankind. But the costs and the consequences are now everywhere evermore apparent: the living systems on which we depend are in retreat. Forests, topsoil, grasslands, wetlands, oceans, coral reefs, the atmosphere, aquifers, tundra and biodiversity are limiting factrs - the natural capital on which all economic activity depends. And they are all in decline. Add to that a doubling of the world's population and a halving of available per capita resources in the first 50 years of the 21st century and the inevitability of change is clear. This work offers forms of industry and commerce that can not only enhance enormously the wellbeing of the world's growing population, but will reverse the destruction and pollution of nature and restore the natural processes so vital to the future. The book introduces four central and interrelated strategies necessary to perpetuate abundance, avert scarcity and deliver a solid basis for social development. The first of these is: Radical Resource Productivity - getting two, four, or even ten times as much from the same quantities of materials and energy. A revolution in efficiency that provides the most immediate opportunities for businesses to grow and prosper. The second strategy is: Ecological Redesign - eliminating the very idea of waste by designing industrial systems on the model of ecological ones. Instead, for example, of digging merals out of the ground only to return them to landfill at the end of the product cycle, industrial processes will be designed to reuse materials constantly, in closed circles. The third strategy involves creating: A Service and Flow Economy - shifting from an economy of goods and purchases to one of service and flow, and redefining the relationship between producer and consumer. Affluence will no longer be measured by acquisition and quantity, but by the continuous receipt of quality, utility and performance. The final strategy is: Investing in Natural capital - reversing the worldwide ecosystem destruction to restore and expand the stocks of natural capital. If industrial systems are to supply an increasing flow of services in the future, the vital flow of services from living systems will have to be maintained or increased as well.

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Review:

In Natural Capitalism, three top strategists show how leading-edge companies are practising "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 ultra-light, aerodynamic and fuelled by hybrid 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 like housing, contends Hawken, author of a book and US TV series called Growing a Business, and the Lovinses, who co- founded and directed the Rocky Mountain Institute, an environmental think tank in the US. The book is a fascinating and provocative read for public policy makers, as well as environmentalists and capitalists. --Dan Ring, Amazon.com

Review:

"Natural Capitalism is an eye-opening read" -- The Daily Mail, 30.9.99

"A book not to be missed" -- Business Digest, Oct 1999

"An ambitious and stimulating book with plenty of down-to-earth examples of the payoff which this new approach to business can bring" -- People & the Planet, Nov 1999

"An analysis of how capitalism would work if the world's "natural capital" were properly valued, resulting in a drastic reduction in resource use by industrialised countries" -- The Financial Times, 14.10.99

"I have been convinced for years that it is no longer necessary to choose between growing the economy and preserving, and even improving, the environment. But it is quite necessary to abandon the Industrial Age energy use patterns... So I urge you to all read a book (I'll hawk a book here) Natural Capitalism, by Paul Hawken and Amory and Hunter Lovins. It basically proves beyond any argument that there are presently available technologies, and those just on horizon, which will permit us to get richer by cleaning, not by spoiling, the environment." -- President Clinton, at a conference in Florence, Italy, 21.11.99

"It used to be that you couldn't grow a modern economy and get a whole people rich unless you burned a lot of coal and oil. That is not true anymore. There's a new book out I commend to you by Paul Hawken and Amory and Hunter Lovins called Natural Capitalism, and if you read it, you will be convinced that whatever you're doing and however well you're doing it, you could make a lot of money by getting into alternative sources of energy and energy conservation. This is a huge deal." -- President Clinton, Democratic National Committee, 5.10.1999

"Part vision, part practical business manual, and stuffed full of pertinent working examples, it's a provocative book" -- The Director, Nov 1999

"This is smart,strategic thinking... The book presents an extraordinary catalogue of brilliant, profitable and environmentally informed design" -- The Independent, 18.10.99

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781844071708: Natural Capitalism: The Next Industrial Revolution (10th Anniversay Edition)

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ISBN 10:  1844071707 ISBN 13:  9781844071708
Publisher: Routledge, 2005
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9781853837630: Natural Capitalism: The Next Industrial Revolution

Earths..., 2000
Softcover

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