Conversations with Green Gurus: The Collective Wisdom of Environmental Movers and Shakers

June 29, 2009 by  
Filed under Insights

conversation-cover-graphicsAuthor: Laura Mazur and Louella Miles

ISBN: 978-0-470-71431-7

Hardcover: 326 pages

Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Recommended Retail Price: SGD 70.57 (including GST)

Available at all major bookstores

Book Review

Conversations with Green Gurus introduces various environmental pioneers from different sectors, including business, government, academics and non-governmental organisations:

  • Ray Anderson (Founder of Interface, Inc)
  • James Cameron (Founder, Executive Director and Vice-Chairman of Climate Change Capital)
  • Paul Dickinson (CEO of the Carbon Disclosure Project)
  • John Elkington (Founding Partner and Director of Volans)
  • John Grant (Author of The Green Marketing Manifesto)
  • Denis Hayes (President and CEO of The Bullitt Foundation)
  • Gary Hirshberg (President and CE-Yo of Stonyfield Farm)
  • Tony Juniper (Former Executive Director of Friends of the Earth, England, Wales and Northern Ireland)
  • Professor Sir David King (Former Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government)
  • Amory B. Lovins (Chairman and Chief Scientist of the Rocky Mountain Institute)
  • Professor Wangari Maathai (Founder of the Green Belt Movement and Nobel Peace Prize Winner)
  • Ricardo Navarro (Founder and Director of the Salvadoran Centre for Appropriate Technology)
  • Dr Vandana Shiva (Physicist, Environmental Activist and Author)
  • Jeffrey Swartz (President and CEO of Timberland)
  • Sir Crispin Tickell (Diplomat, Academic and Environmentalist)

These leaders share insights on their professional and personal lives, and their current views on sustainability. The book gives a concise overview of how these green gurus started their green journey, and their wish to see a more sustainable world.

Here’s some thoughts from the gurus:

Well, it’s easiest to start with the first principle of natural capitalism: radical resource efficiency. Just look for muda, that wonderful Japanese word that means waste, purposeless and futility. Look for any measurable input that produces no customer value, and set a goal of reducing it to zero. – Amory B. Lovins

So sustainability really can and should be at the core of what companies are now planning, in terms of, for example, where markets will go and what will be some of the future risk factors. At that fundamental level sustainability, for a company, is about being able to continue in business. – Tony Juniper

The beautiful thing about business is that it doesn’t have any ideology except to make money. If you can demonstrate that you make more money by saving the world, then businesses will save the world really quickly. And so all we have to do is wake up the consumer to stop putting money into their own endangerment. And that shouldn’t be very difficult. – Paul Dickinson

I think the biggest problem, which I must admit I’m still dealing with, is the fact that very many people do not see the environment as something that is integral to our daily lives. It tends to be seen as an outside issue, often associated with scientists and academics, but in fact it is very, very central to our lives. The air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat – all these things that we cannot live without. – Professor Wangari Maathai

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