Posted by: genevievetaylor | July 24, 2008

Ask a LinkedIn Question – Get Great Answers! (Resources on Sustainability)

I recently asked the question on LinkedIn, what do you recommend to people who are new to sustainability in business? I quickly got some great answers from organizational change agents and professionals working in sustainable business. Following are links, books, videos, and movies.

What resources do you refer to about sustainability?

What Stephen Gale (Stephen Gale & Associates) said about Getting Started:

Stephen Gale says: I like this site: The Global Footprint Network which began in 2003, and made popular the idea of the “Footprint”, or what they call “Resource Accounting.” The idea is that we all have an impact on the planet based on our own behaviours and choices, as well as on where we live. They help us see that by giving you an individualized “acreage” measurement. While not the endall of measurement tools, it is a great way to find out what your personal footprint is.

Find out YOUR footprint – Take the Footprint Quiz.

Stephen Gale also recommends an article by Business Week on the Sustainable Business Awards. He notes that the Awards slideshow segments nicely the issues that a business has to address in their sustainability process.

What Paul Hepperla(Energy & Emissions Expert) said about Getting Started:

There are a few important papers I provide when thinking about Sustainability, especially emissions:

The Business of Climate Change I & II – Lehman Brothers
Emissions: At What Cost – McKinsey

Both studies are a great reflection of the impact of climate change and emissions on business. What they show is that common sense when applied to a business creates sustainability, cost savings and a positive impact on the environment.

Sustainability and conservation are all about applied common sense. In the business world, many fail to make the connection between common sense and sustainability. Being too theoretical will cause folks to look at sustainability as a political issue rather than a critical business issue.

Movies To Watch:

David Hodgson says: I often suggest videos for people to watch, it can often be a quicker way to understand the roots.

Bill McDonaugh, leading designer, author of Cradle to Cradle, vanguard of the Eco-Industrial Movement, talks at Bioneers (an annual Conference in San Rafael, CA) in 2000 about how to design for sustainability. His presentation is hilarious and a great introduction to what we can all do to think about our business differently. (45 minutes)

The movie Baraka – photographs of the world set to music. Stunning. Gives a great sense of the beauty of the world, and what Bill Mcdonaugh calls the “Strategic Tragedy” that we are now in. (1 hour 36 min)

Manufactured Landscapes, a 2006 film by Edward Burtynsky that depicts the impact of industry on the environment. He says, “It is not a simple right or wrong. It requires a new way of thinking.” See the trailer at the website above.

Links that Don Carli Recommended for Getting Started :
World Business Council on Sustainable Development – A great site based out Europe and DC for information on Sustainable Development around the world.
Global Environment Management Initiative – They just produced a webtool to help businesses measure their climate impact.
UN Global Compact – The UN’s Foundation for helping businesses make committments to reduce their environmental impact. Has information on many different businesses around the world who are working on sustainability initiatives.

Books to Read:

Must Reads (Most Recommended by LinkedIn Community)

Books by Business Leaders:

Books about Sustainability, Leadership & Business:

Books about Making the Case for Sustainable Business:

Books about “How-To” Go Sustainable:

(Thank you to Pablo Päster, VP, GHG Management Innovations at ClimateCHECK , Gil Friend Founder of Natural Logic , Paul Hepperla Energy & Emissions Expert, Joseph McIntyre, Executive Director at Ag Innovations Network, Executive Director at Don Carli Senior Research Fellow at Institute for Sustainable Communication, Terry Taylor, President of Global Genesis, John Stayton, Director of The Green MBA at Dominican University, and David Hodgson VP of Engineering + Sustainability at OmDirect for contributing to this list).

Thanks, LinkedIn community, for your contributions to a robust resource list; they will be posted as part of a continuously updated page of resources on this blog.

For the rest of you –

What are your resources? What resources do you wish you had more of?


  1. In addition to all the stellar recommendations above, here is a list that highlights additional books to learn, grow and inspire:

    Paul Herman, CEO,

  2. Hi Paul – Thanks for the list; I like your emphasis on social entrepreneurship and socially responsible investing.
    Warm regards,

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