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The Natural Advantage of Nations: Business Opportunities, Innovation and Governance in the 21st Century

Edited By: Karlson Hargroves and Michael Harrison Smith


Paperback | Jun 2006 | #158454 | ISBN: 1844073408
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £24.95 $30/€28 approx

About this book

This book is about innovation, solutions, competitiveness and profitability. It is also about building environmental integrity and sustainability now and for future generations. The Natural Advantage of Nations pulls together for the first time a vast literature to demonstrate the need for a new paradigm of sustainable development. The book brings together the work of more than 30 leading thinkers, and fresh evidence from around the globe, to show that the drive for an ecologically sustainable world need not be in conflict with economics and business practices. This book draws a bold vision for the future and tells us how to get there by building on the lessons of competitive advantage theory and the latest in sustainability, economics, innovation, business and governance theory and practise. This is top-drawer reading for business people, economists, engineers, consultants, policy-makers, researchers, students and indeed anyone working to create a better world.

The authors incorporate innovative technical, structural and social advances, and explore the role that governance can play in both leading and underpinning business and communities in the shift towards a sustainable future. Coupled with a companion website, this book builds on from the latest in the business case for sustainability and goes beyond it. This book shows how in a tripartite world where business government and civil society all have power, how each can best play their part and better work together to achieve win win outcomes. The result is nothing less than the most authoritative and comprehensive guide to building the new ecologically sustainable economy.

'I think it's a great project and I wish it every success' DAVID SUZUKI OC award-winning scientist, environmentalist and broadcaster 'This is world-leading work - the team deserves the loudest acclamation possible' BARRY J. GREAR AO President 2006, World Federation of Engineering Organizations 'Anyone interested in the practical details of building a bright green future needs to read this book. It's an absolutely critical overview of our progress towards sustainability thus far, 500+ information-packed pages on what's working best... This is a book I'll be coming back to again and again' ALEX STEFFEN, 'This volume pulls together thirty of the top thinkers in sustainability for a provocative and stimulating journey that happens to be easy to read. The industrialized world...needs to focus not just on sustainable development but also on sustainable re-development", which would shift the focus from solving environmental problems to eliminating them' CYNTHIA D. CHURCHWELL business information librarian at Baker Library, Harvard Business School 'A must-read for anyone serious about understanding the global phenomenon and trend of sustainable development. This comprehensive and well-documented book shows specific examples of how sustainable innovation can and needs to transform our globally linked society and economy' KAREN WAN GreenPlants Program Director, Chicago Manufacturing Center 'What I found in reading the book was how the pursuit of sustainable development, whether on a small scale in domestic organizations or on a national or international scale, is no walk into the unknown. In a host of areas solutions already exist and are being implemented around the world by companies, governments and by social groupings. All this the book provides through relevant and successful solutions' SIR NINIAN STEPHEN, Former Governor General of Australia 'It is a great book following up on findings we published in Factor Four and linking it all to the business community... I shall quote Hargroves and Smith' PROF. DR. ERNST VON WEIZSACKER author of Limits to Privatization and Factor Four 'It is widely understood that we must shift towards a sustainable future, and increasingly it is agreed that in order to do so we must move beyond rhetoric and into hard-edged, pragmatic forward steps. This book is a vital contribution to that forward movement, and I commend it to you' STEVE MORTON Group Chair, Environment and Natural Resources, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) 'If you only read one book on sustainable development this year, make it The Natural Advantage of Nations. All up, the book incorporates the works of more than 30 sustainability leaders and plenty of case studies to illustrate key points along the way.' Richard Collins, Waste Management and Environment 'A powerful and important book which sets out key elements of our future prosperity in a rapidly changing world.... The authors must be congratulated on a mammoth effort in integrating conventional economics with sustainability to form a new framework for innovation and competitiveness' Ian Dunlop, Former CEO of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Sustainability and Governance Consultant. 'The book is powerful and enjoyable reading for anyone, but particularly for those leaders in government, business, science and engineering, and academia now exploring the cutting edge in the new "sustainability economy'" James Porteous, Editor of the CSIRO ECOS: Towards A Sustainable Future Magazine 'A very useful educational tool for government and industry in showing how to make the right steps toward a sustainable economy. The Natural Advantage of Nations will provide a graphic and compelling view of the kind of future we all might have if we truly commit to achieving sustainable development' Dr John Cole, Executive Director, Sustainable Industries Division, Environmental Protection Agency Queensland 'It is time that we made a stand and started spreading the message of how important sustainable development is. We see that if our clients don't adopt sustainable principles then they will go out of business. If they go then we go too [so it is] enlightened self interest really. I am in wholehearted support of [this] book and see it as timely in its content and message' Steve Gale, Australasian Sustainable Development Leader, Hatch Engineering 'I strongly support the concept, outlined in this project, of a "natural capitalism"-style publication. In particular, I feel the use of such a book as a resource text in the secondary and tertiary education arenas would be extremely valuable' Elizabeth Heij, Facilitator, CSIRO Sustainability Network 'The book is really about interesting and worthwhile case studies showing that businesses can embrace sustainability and gain a competitive advantage and more profits all at the same time' Professor John Whitelegg, Stockholm Environment Institute 'A superb compilation of a wealth of useful material.... A book that will occupy many a shelf as an authoritative source of present day sustainability solutions.' Terence Jeyaretnam, principal at URS Australia in Melbourne, Chair of the Environmental Engineering Society and the editor of The Environmental Engineer 'I teach hundreds of business school students every year. For many, my course is their first academic exposure to how business can, in the words of Interface Inc's Chairman Ray Anderson, "take nothing, waste nothing, do no harm, and do very, very well by doing good" - good for the planet, for people and for profits. I am finding that The Natural Advantage of Nations is the perfect text for getting this message of hope across in a very practical way.... With contributions from many of the leaders in the sustainability field, this book contains a wealth of practical, as well as theoretical, frameworks' Janet Graaff, Leeds School of Business, University of Colorado, USA 'A book that is responsive to the urgent need for the education of engineers as well non technical leaders of all disciplines, who must understand and embrace the principles of sustainability to carry their businesses forward in the most competitive way, while preserving the environment for all current and future generations to enjoy' Doug Jones, President Engineers Australia 2003 - 04 'I would recommend the book as an excellent text for studies in economics and sustainability. It is also an important source of ideas for business and industry leaders, engineers, architects, government planners and society generally' R H Brown, Manufacturing Society of Australia 'The book does more than bring together case studies and essential initiatives for creating an ecologically-sustainable economy. The framework is one that mainstream business and government can relate to: innovation, competitive advantage, business strategy development, industry policy etc, but it does this without watering down the environmental purpose. I think its contents will be driving economic change over the next decade.' Philip Sutton, Manager of the Greenleap information list, Director of Strategy for Green Innovations Inc. and President of the Sustainable Living Foundation. 'The continuing explosion of creative and determined efforts to build a world that is environmentally, economically, socially and humanly healthy is hope-giving... If this book's "to-do list for a sustainable civilization" is not worth the dedication of a life's work, what is?' Alan AtKisson, President and CEO of AtKisson Inc, author of Believing Cassandra 'There is much hard work to do, much suffering in the Universe, much to be fixed and healed. Making the world better and more life-sustaining, its beings healthy and whole, its people free from fear from privation or attack, is an endless task in progress, but one worthy of our species' promise and potential. We need good tools and provisions for our common journey. The Natural Advantage of Nations will help guide that long passage from here to hope' Amory B. Lovins, CEO of Rocky Mountain Institute, co-author of Natural Capitalism 'The Natural Advantage of Nations... shows that what many people saw as impossible just 15 years ago is now already happening. Within these pages you will see that there is reason for robust hope, and as you read, we hope you will be inspired to contribute to this magnificent re-evolution of human enterprise, a moment in our history when the things we make and build and grow can become a truly regenerative force' William McDonough, Principal of William McDonough + Partners, co-author of Cradle to Cradle 'Young people often ask what gives me hope. Many things make me hopeful, but the best answer, just now, is this book... The numerous examples given here of profitable ways to improve the environment, human well-being and the bottom line... proves a belief that has grown in me for several years that while the tipping point of environmental devastation may be frighteningly close, the people with the commitment to implement the solutions we already know can solve the problems are also at hand' Hunter Lovins, President of Natural Capitalism Inc, co-author of Natural Capitalism 'The authors of this book [have] the energy, insight and commitment to begin the discussion of what I call "the ultimate integration"; that is, integration of the concepts of competitiveness and Natural Capitalism' Michael Fairbanks, Chairman of OTF Group, co-author of Plowing the Sea: Nurturing the Hidden Sources of Advantage in Developing Nations"


Section I: THE NEED FOR A NEW PARADIGM - Natural Advantage of Nations * Risks of Inaction on Sustainable Development * Asking the Right Questions * A Dynamic 'Platform for Change' * Thinking Locally, Acting Globally * Section II: NATURAL ADVANTAGE: A BUSINESS IMPERATIVE - Natural Advantage and the Firm * Innovation and Competitiveness through Industry Cluster Development * The Political and Social Context: A Sixth Force on Business? * Accelerating the Sustainability Revolution * Operationalizing Natural Advantage through the Sustainability Helix * Section III: ACHIEVING A NATURAL ADVANTAGE OF NATIONS - The Role of Government * Towards a Deeper Understanding * National Systems of Innovation * Sustainability in the Wild West (State Government) * Delivering Sustainability Through Local Action (Local Government) * Section IV: SUSTAINABLE CITIES: THE CHALLENGE OF THE 21ST CENTURY - Tomorrow's Mega-cities: How Will They Develop? * Profitable Greenhouse Solutions * Greening the Built Environment * Sustainable Urban Transport * Water: Nature's Gold * Section V: A NATIONAL COLLABORATIVE APPROACH: THE BIGGER PICTURE - BUILDING RESILIENCE - Integrated Approaches to Sustainable Consumption and Cleaner Production * Changing Hearts and Minds: The Role of Education * Achieving Multi-stakeholder Engagement * Notes * References * Index

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Charlie Hargroves, a civil engineer, is Project Coordinator of The Natural Edge Project (TNEP). Michael Smith, a post-graduate researcher at Australian National University, is Content Coordinator of the Project

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