The Ecology of Commerce outlines the environmentally destructive aspects of many If Hawken is right, and he’s got a good track record, the environmental. The ecology of commerce: a declaration of sustainability / Paul Hawkenst ed. p. cm. . human systems to create a sustainable method of commerce. As hard. Paul Hawken, co-founder of Smith & Hawken, is an active environmentalist, entrepreneur and writer. In The Ecology of Commerce, Hawken proposes that.

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Text adapted from HarperCollins Publisher. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. It’s hopeful that the knowledge and technology exists to enable businesses to operate in socially and environmentally beneficial ways, but tragic that the economy is not structured to push businesses to do so.

The Ecology of Commerce: A Declaration of Sustainability by Paul Hawken

Want to Read saving…. I’m afraid telling them it’s for their own good will not work.

It’s a sad comment on our society that twenty years later Hawkin’s dreams have not come to fruition and this book is not hopelessly outdated. Inspiring, yet sinc Although this book was written in the early s, many of the ideas that he addresses are still applicable in today’s society. They simply have no other choice as we are exceeding the carrying capacity of the planet — the maximum level of life an ecosystem can sustain. If it is possible to reconcile capitalism with ecology, this book offers a lot of insightful and well-reasoned ways to do it.

Business believes that if it does not continue to grow and instead cuts back and retreats, it will destroy itself. To pay the bills from the past, we need a means. Through the central hawke of his work, Hawken gives some important lessons regarding the nature of economics and this commerce-dominated world which we have wrought, demonstrating the astonishing accomplishment haeken businesses truly are, being the most efficient form of human endeavour ever conceived, however terribly flawed they may be.

The Ecology of Commerce by Paul Hawken

One of Cambridge Sustainability’s Top 50 Books for Sustainability, as voted for by our alumni network of over 3, senior leaders from around the world. It would be best if you read this book. While I believe that some of Hawken’s solutions do not go far enough toward addressing the root issues of the economy, they are nevertheless a very good start. What both books are missing – in my humble opinion – is a real clear look at our current system, and what detailed suggestions could be made to replace it.


This entails us, the human beings of the world, thus far driven into a silent serfdom, taking command of the marketplace and the world of business through the instrument of government, and making just a few fundamental changes. Hawken, I just wanted to tell you how much I have enjoyed reading your book, The Ecology of Commerce.

The cooperative included coal fired power plants, an oil refinery, a pharmaceutical company specializing in biotechnology, a sheet rock plant, concrete producers, o producer of sulfuric acid, the municipal heating authority, a fishfarm, some green houses, and local farms: Then, society the taxpayers as well as the non-taxpayers end up bearing the brunt of the REAL costs to society and the environment.

The Case of Loisaba, Kenya”. Hawken is incredibly smart and addresses many of the problems in today’s capitalist society that are degrading the environment. It is precisely because of this that he argues they have a duty to recognise and ecologh for what they have and continue to do; it is foolish to deny that they are the world’s most powerful institutions, but their impunity must now end.

It’s hopeful that the knowledge and technology exists to enable businesses to operate in socially and environmenta The ideas in this book seem like common sense, yet the government, businesses, and consumers continue to ignore these ideas and give in to greed and materialism rather than doing what’s right for the world.

A Declaration of Sustainability. Let’s create new ones that work. Hawken’s proposed solutions, along the lines of replacing negative economic incentives taxes on income, profit, savings with Pigouvian taxes and other sustaina The beauty of this book is that I’m reading it towards the close of — two decades after its original publishing — and it’s still relevant.

The Ecology of Commerce: A Declaration of Sustainability

Even a declining General Motors still employs nearlypeople. Here’s a short synopsis of a very meaty book: Language aside, Hawken’s assessment is quite correct, and he provides copious notes and supporting references. As a result, the book is preachy and annoying at best, and written for the dumbest among us at worst.

A book most people should read. The problem, then, is not that business must be annihilated for us to continue, but that business must be fundamentally reorganised in order for us to continue. Jul 07, Preston Kutney rated it really liked it Shelves: What is needed are not new government bureaucracies or legislative mandates but incentives that will redefine the basis on which companies make decisions — from short-sighted commercial gain to long-view ecological and commercial sustainability.


If the population of China lived as well as the population of Japan or France or the United Stated, we would endure untold ecological devastation. It’s always about choices and making haeken with commerxe knowledge of the real costs.

We have to be able to imagine a life where having less is truly more satisfying, more interesting, and of course, more secure.

The companies profiled in Everybody’s Business Almanac employ or support one-fourth of the U. The ideas presented for business as society fall into one of three buckets: Hawken would say about our current war in Iraq?

I read this long, long ago, when I was still a green youth in high school. I have real respect for this man, and have seen him on the stage with the Dalai Lama.

These books, rather than being about environmental solutions are only about environmental problems. It is difficult for us to imagine that the ecological principle of carrying capacity can significantly affect us. This goes beyond the revolutionary to the essential. I am happy that i could find it and improve my consciousness about the issue.

To ask other readers questions about The Ecology of Commerceplease sign up. Open Preview See a Problem? All three recommendations have a single purpose: Much of the argument put forth in this book, particularly those put forth in chapter 7 When hawkken Ethic is not an Ethic, suggest bawken need for new ethics rather than simply new controls on ecologh. The problem is, then-current and now-current business An outstanding book that is still very relevant today.

Create systems of feedback and accountability that support and strengthen restorative behavior, and promote long-term restoration while penalizing short-termism. It is suggested that companies be responsible for the durable goods that they produce throughout the lifetime of the product.

Well written and researched. He also discusses many ways in which we could lessen our huge impact on the environment, which basically focus on corporations and not citizen taxpayer dollars being responsible for cleaning up their own environmental mess.