Monday, November 17, 2008

Monday's green books series: 'Strategies for the Green Economy' by Joel Makower

I love to read good books about green business and when it's a book written by one of the people whom I consider to be one of my "green biz" teachers, it is a real delight!

Our book today on Monday's green books series is:

Strategies for the Green Economy: Opportunities and Challenges in the New World of Business by Joel Makower and Cara Pike

In the last couple of years I have read Joel Makower's blog Two Steps Forward on regular basis and it became one of my best resources to learn and better understand the green economy. I see in Joel one of the best teachers I had (and still have) in the complex world of green economy and therefore I was very excited to hear about his new book. And I wasn't wrong.

For those of you who haven't had the chance yet to read or hear Joel, here's a very short version of his impressive bio (from the book's cover): Joel Makower is executive editor of and other Web sites, research and events produced by Greener World Media, Inc., of which he is cofounder and chairman. He has 20 years' experience advising companies on green strategy and marketing and is author of more than a dozen books, including The green consumer and The E-factor: The Bottom-Line Approach to Environmentally Responsible Business.

You can already guess that this book, which is providing a road map to the green marketplace, is written from a very unique point of view of someone who has been both following and participating in the evolvement of the green economy in the last two decades.

This unique perspective is differentiating this book from other green biz books and makes it very valuable for anyone who is interested in green business and especially to those who want to better understand what's the green noise is all about.

The book is focusing both on the consumer and the companies sides. It presents t
he green market from the consumer perspective and tries to make some logic in all the information we're constantly fed with about the green consumers - from the surveys we hear about all the time about the green preferences of consumers to the many definitions of green market (LOHAS, greenback greens, cultural creatives, etc.).

You'll also find here an analysis of one of the questions I find most intriguing - why there's so much difference between what we learn from the surveys and market reserach companies (almost everyone is going green) and the reality (green products and services are still a relatively small niche)?

On the companies' side, the book follows the development in the understanding of businesses the concept of going green, from something you do to support the environment to something you do to support your brand and your bottom line. It has many stories and examples from both Fortune 500 companies and start-ups on their green experience and attempts to implement green strategies.

What I like about the book is that it gives you the whole picture of both failures and successes, trying to portray things in a realistic tone that is sometimes missing in other books.
'Strategies for the Green Economy' doesn't have all the answers and leaves you with some questions that only time might gives you the answers on, like "how green is good enough"?, but it gives you plenty of information and tools (including the Ecological Roadmap of Cara Pike that is brought at the end of the book and includes valuable data on people's environmental values) to figure out what green business is all about.

Title: Strategies for the Green Economy: Opportunities and Challenges in the New World of Business

Authors: Joel Makower and Cara Pike

Publisher: McGraw-Hill

Published: September 2008

Pages: 312

This book is not only green in content but also in the way it was produced - it is printed on 100% post-consumer, de-inked fiber, without chlorine.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Plant a tree for every book you read!