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Customer Review

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Environmental Constraints are Good for Business, 26 Jun. 2004
This review is from: Natural Capitalism: The Next Industrial Revolution (Paperback)
This is a book with a positive message: saving the environment is good for business! And with a bit of modification, capitalism can help us do it.
A key concept is to look for savings in the design of whole systems, rather than just in the component parts. Like designing a new office block to naturally stay cool in summer, rather than installing a more efficient air conditioner. Or designing a manufacturing process which eliminates waste, rather than thinking of the best way to dispose of it.
Many real-life examples illustrate how huge resource savings can be made at low cost, while often improving overall productivity. You start to wonder why it is not already being done, and what we can do to speed things up. Somehow we need to break down the negative image of the environment as a burden, and encourage a more collaborative and innovative culture. Hawken et al. point out the potential for harnessing the very market forces which have led to so much environmental destruction, to help us in this task.
"Natural Capitalism" has convinced me that markets are a powerful tool, as long as we remember that they are here to serve us. We need to accept that ours has never been a 'free' market system, and that we should not be afraid to modify the current distortions which were created for an earlier time. We might as well make it in people's short-term interests to act responsibly. The climate will not care that they have done it for the 'wrong' reasons.
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