Thursday, July 16, 2009

Green book review week - part 4: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Greening Your Business

Book no. 4 on the green book review week is a guide that should be on the bookshelf in your office and maybe even on your boss' desk (or your desk if you're the boss..).

Our book today is:

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Greening Your Business

Trish Riley and Heather Gadonniex

Trish Riley
is an award-winning environmental journalist and author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide® to Green Living as well as articles in many publications, including Hemispheres, Audubon Magazine and the Miami Herald.

Heather Gadonniex is the co-founder of Green It Group, a sustainability advisory firm focusing on sustainable business strategy and implementation, green building, and environmental marketing.


Published on:
June 2009

What this book is about?
(from the the book's Amazon webpage) Businesses are always looking to increase their profitability and market share. With rising costs of fuel and consumers targeting environmentally-responsible companies to patronize, businesses have jumped on the green initiative and reaped the financial benefits. The Complete Idiot’s Guide® to Greening Your Business provides the most up-to-date, concrete, and practical steps for readers to follow to get rich by going green.

What we think about it?

I like the Complete Idiot's Guide series - these are very practical guides that provide you in a structured and user-friendly way with the basic important information you need to whatever green topic they're covering. And this book is no different. It is practical, structured, informative and easy to understand.

This guide deals not only with the 'how' but also with the 'why' and makes an effort to explain in detail the business case of greening your business, both in general and with specific issues such as your office systems or shipping.

I liked the way it helps to clarify complex concepts such as sustainability, carbon offsetting, life cycle assessment and so on. It is very helpful that it is covering every element in the business - from HR to marketing. Still, you have to remember that this book is similar to an introduction course, so for example, when we look at paper usage, we find basic tips such as using recycled paper or printing on both sides, but if you want to further explore this topic, you need to look for further resources (like this article of Neil Tilley) to learn more.

Bottom Line: No matter if you're a business owner or an employee who wants to help greening up your business, this guide a good book to start with. It's practical tips, structure and understanding how real-life business works make it a valuable resource.


Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: promoting green reading

Can barcodes become the secret weapon against illegal logging?

As strange as it sounds, there's a good chance it might happen with a new technology provided by the British company Helveta.

According to an article on Reuters, the company has put already barcodes (yes, just like the ones you have in supermarkets, only in plastic bags) on about million trees across Africa, southeast Asia and South America.

Patrick Newton, Helveta's chief executive officer told Reuters that the computerized system is less prone to fraud than traditional paper records, carries live data and can help governments to collect more timber taxes, Newton said.

How does it work exactly? watch this piece on BBC Oxford News for the details:

In all the barcodes can't prevent criminals from chopping down trees, but the system's promise is to make it hard for them to process, sell or export the wood.

Can this system stop illegal logging? On one side, this "industry" is too lucrative to be stopped only by one measure. Usually innovative solutions against theft generates more innovations on the other side and creates more sophisticated thieves. BUT on the other side, not only this is a much better and secure system than the current paper-based system, it will also make illegal logging more expensive and difficult.

Hence my guestimation is it will become a powerful tool that can decrease illegal logging, and even more it will bring more technology and further innovation into the fight in illegal logging, which will be crucial in winning this fight.

What do you think? I'll be happy to hear your thoughts about it.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: promoting green publishing