Session One: Seeing the Big Picture

(from Amazon) Brimming with inspiring stories from individuals and organizations tackling social and environmental problems around the globe, THE NECESSARY REVOLUTION reveals how ordinary people at every level are transforming their businesses and communities. By working collaboratively across boundaries, they are exploring and putting into place unprecedented solutions that move beyond just being “less bad” to creating pathways that will enable us to flourish in an increasingly interdependent world. Among the stories in these pages are the evolution of Sweden’s “Green Zone,” Alcoa’s water use reduction goals, GE’s ecoimagination initiative, and Seventh Generation’s decision to shift some of their advertising to youth-led social change programs.

(from the Publishers Weekly review) Two experts from Yale tackle the business wake-up-call du jour — environmental responsibility — from every angle in this thorough, earnest guidebook: pragmatically, passionately, financially and historically. Though “no company the authors know of is on a truly long-term sustainable course,” Esty and Winston label the forward-thinking, green-friendly (or at least green-acquainted) companies “WaveMakers” and set out to assess honestly their path toward environmental responsibility, and its impact on a company’s bottom line, customers, suppliers and reputation. … For the responsible business leader, this volume provides plenty of (organic) food for thought.

In this brilliant, essential book, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Thomas L. Friedman speaks to America’s urgent need for national renewal and explains how a green revolution can bring about both a sustainable environment and a sustainable America. Friedman is the Foreign Affairs columnist for The New York Times and continues to write on world social issues including the effects of climate change.

The world has changed in the seventeen years since the controversial initial publication of Paul Hawken’s The Ecology of Commerce, a stirring treatise about the perceived antagonism between ecology and business. Yet Hawken’s impassioned argument — that business both causes the most egregious abuses of the environment and, crucially, holds the most potential for solving our sustainability problems — is more relevant and resonant than ever. Containing updated and revised material for a new audience, The Ecology of Commerce presents a compelling vision of the restorative (rather than destructive) economy we must create.

Resilience Thinking offers a new approach to understanding the world and managing resources.

The Global Footprint Network supports a sustainable economy by advancing the Ecological Footprint, a measurement and management tool that makes the reality of planetary limits relevant to decision-makers throughout the world.

Founded by Peter Senge, SOL is an organization designed to research, integrate and implement theories and practices of organizational learning for the interdependent development of people and their institutions and communities. 

 

Founded by Donella Meadows, the Sustainability Insitute conducts stakeholder-based systems analysis and changes projects through consulting, research, workshops, and facilitated systems thinking sessions for their partner organizations.

Additional resources (links throughout the session):

http://www.interfaceglobal.com
http://www.dsireusa.org
http://www.footprintnetwork.org
http://www.solonline.org
http://www.sustainer.org
http://www.Earth911.com

Session Two: Taking a Closer Look

  • MIT Sloan Management Review’s Winter 2005 issue. Dr. Ehrenfeld currently serves as Executive Director of the International Society for Industrial Ecology. He is the author of Sustainability by Design (2008).
  • Capitalism as if the World Matters (2005), Jonathon Porritt
  • Organizational Change for Corporate Sustainability: A Guide for Leaders and Change Agents for the Future by Dexter Colboyd Dunphy, Andrew Griffiths and Suzanne Benn, 2003, 2007
  • Strategies for the Green Economy (2008) by Joel Makower, and appeared on GreenBiz.com on December 22, 2008. Makower is executive editor of GreenBiz.com
  • The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems (2008) by Van Jones
  • Sustainability by Design: A Subversive Strategy for Transforming Our Consumer Culture (2008) by John R. Ehrenfeld
  • You Are Here: Exposing the Vital Link Between What We Do and What That Does to Our Planet (2008) by Thomas M. Kostigen
  • Values-Driven Business: How to Change the World, Make Money, and Have Fun (2006) by Ben Cohen and Mal Warwick.
  • Www.greenbiz.com is an online magazine with the tagline “Business, The Environment, and The Bottom Line.”
  • Sustainable Industries Journal, found at http://www.sustainableindustries.com

Additional resources (links throughout the session):

http://www.TED.com
http://www.greenbiz.com
http://www.sustainableindustries.com

Session Three: Framing Sustainability

  • The Sustainability Advantage: Seven Business Case Benefits of a Triple Bottom Line by Bob Willard (2002)
  • Values-Driven Business: How to Change the World, Make Money, and Have Fun by Ben Cohen and Mal Warwick
  • Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution (2008) by Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins, and Hunter Lovins.
  • Dancing With the Tiger (2002) by Brian Nattrass and Mary Altomare.
  • The Sustainability Handbook (2007), by William R. Blackburn
  • The ISIS Agreement (2008) by Alan AtKisson. ISIS– Indicators, Systems, Innovation, Strategy–is a method for creating a whole-systems view, strategizing successfully for innovative change and accelerating progress towards sustainability.
  • Video: A Passion for Sustainability (2008) Landfall Productions, Inc. Explores fourteen businesses in Portland, OR that adopted The Natural Step. 81 minutes
  • Rocky Mountain Institute www.rmi.org: The Rocky Mountain Institute is an entrepreneurial nonprofit organization that fosters the efficient and restorative use of resources to make the world secure, just, prosperous and life-sustaining
  • ReSourcing Natural Solutions. Developed to assist individuals, organizations and communities in becoming proactive participants in the movement to sustain our species and the planet for generations to come. http://www.design-with-nature.com/process1.html

Additional resources (links throughout the session):

http://www.naturalstep.org

http://www.ci.madison.wi.us/mayor/Natural

http://www.earthscan.co.uk/?tabid=1157

http://www.design-with-nature.com/process1.html

Session Four: Seeing It Through

  • The Triple Bottom Line (2006) by Andrew W. Savitz. Savitz currently works as a senior consultant at Sustainable Business Strategies
  • Cradle to Cradle(2002) by William McDonough and Michael Braungart
  • Mid-Course Correction — Toward a Sustainable Enterprise: The Interface Model (1999) by Ray Anderson
  • The Power of Sustainable Thinking (2008) by Bob Doppelt
  • The Squeeze: A Novel Approach to Business Sustainability (2006) by Gary Langenwalter
  • The Step-by-Step Guide to Sustainability Planning: How to Create and Implement Sustainability Plans in Any Business or Organization (2008) by Darcy Hitchcock and Marsha Willard.
  • The B Corporation (www. bcorporation.net): B Corporations are a type of corporation which uses the power of business to solve social and environmental problems
  • Dragonfly’s Question (2009).
  • Environmental Management Systems (EMS) www.epa.gov/ems/: explains the EMS set of processes and practices that an organization can use to reduce its resource use and increase its efficiency.

Additional resources (links throughout the session):

http://www.www.nwei.org/evaluation
http://www.bcorporation.net
http://www.epa.gov/ems/

Session Five: Focusing on Action

  • Environmental Management Systems (EMS) www.epa.gov/ems/: explains the EMS set of processes and practices that an organization can use to reduce its resource use and increase its efficiency
  • Dragonfly’s Question (2009). This novella and discussion guide covers a wide range of topics including distributed energy, smart growth, toxic exposure, urban agriculture, local currencies, sustainable investing, homelessness, etc
  • The B Corporation (www. bcorporation.net): B Corporations are a new type of corporation which uses the power of business to solve social and environmental problems
  • The Step-by-Step Guide to Sustainability Planning: How to Create and Implement Sustainability Plans in Any Business or Organization (2008) by Darcy Hitchcock and Marsha Willard.
  • The Squeeze: A Novel Approach to Business Sustainability (2006) by Gary Langenwalter. An engaging sustainability novel, tells the story of a small, family-owned, Midwest manufacturer which turns to sustainability as a last-ditch effort to stay afloat.
  • The Power of Sustainable Thinking (2008) by Bob Doppelt. Provides an explanation and practical methods for transforming our current behaviors into sustainable ones.

Additional resources (links throughout the session):

http://www.SustainabilityDictionary.com
http://www.smartgrowth.org