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Nominations Are In…Vote for Your Sustainable Business “Must Read” List!

Scott Cooney | Tuesday February 16th, 2010 | 13 Comments

In an earlier post, we at 3P asked you to nominate a book you feel is a “must read” for those interested in sustainability.  There’s so much to know:  sustainable food, renewable energy, social entrepreneurship, alternative transportation, green chemistry, biofuels, low carbon lifestyles, socially responsible investing……  how can we possibly keep up with all the amazing books that come out on these subjects and so many more?

Fear not.  3P will make it easy for you. Our selection process weeded out a lot of books.  We deliberately eliminated any books written by 3P writers (sorry to  Bill Roth, Heather Gadonniex, and heck, myself) so that we could eliminate potential biases.  We eliminated any self-published books that were nominated.  We eliminated any books that may be good business books but lack any sustainability material (sorry Good to Great and The Tipping Point and many others…), as well as many a good sustainability book that lacked practical business applications (sorry The Lorax, Silent Spring, and Ishmael), as well as many books that I could not find links to on BetterWorldBooks.com, the green version of Amazon, which likely means they are self-published, or simply not books.  We did retain a few that offered insights into business through a sustainability lens, even if they were not directly about green business.

So we have done our part, but the rest is up to you!   Let’s vote!  Voting will go from now through February 19 at 5 PM Pacific Time!  In no particular order, here are the books that were nominated through comments, twitter, emails, and direct communication!

Thanks folks!  Voting is now closed!  We’ll be tallying all the results and will let you know your choices for the best green business books in a blog post next week.  Thanks again!

Scott Cooney is the co-founder of Green Business Village, a sustainability consulting firm working exclusively with green micro-enterprises and author of Build a Green Small Business:  Profitable Ways to Become an Ecopreneur (McGraw-Hill) (deliberately left off the voting list).  Follow Scott on Twitter at twitter.com/scottcooney


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  • nickaster

    This is a great list! I've probably read less than 1/3 of these, but I still think Natural Capitalism is the best all-around intro to the ideas of sustainability in a business context.

  • bradburkhart

    add… E. O. Wilson's “The Future of Life”… a great read!

  • http://www.dasny.org/ Jodi Smits Anderson

    There are so many to add. “Ishmael” is so very important. “The Transition Handbook” should be here. What about “Getting Green Done” which really soothed my frustrations – knowing it is a hard and often long process to affect change…..

  • greenormal

    I've written a couple on this subject: The Green Marketing Manifesto (2007) & Co-opportunity (2010)
    - but hey no list is complete and there are some truly great books on this list that have inspired me.
    What else is missing? World Changing by Alex Steffan & co was in my view a seminal book. Also the Upside of Down by Thomas Homer Dixon (and the Ingenuity Gap). Jonathan Porritt eg Capitalism as If the World Really Mattered. Joel Makower HAS to be on this list. John Elkington too. And the must read book over here (UK) at the moment is Prosperity without Growth by Tim Jackson.

  • Lynn_Anne_Miller

    There are some great titles on this list, but you're missing an important one that came out this year targeted at small biz: Greening Your Small Business by Jennifer Kaplin. (She goes by @greenhance on Twitter).

  • Julie Blunden

    I vote for “The Clean Tech Revolution” by Ron Pernick and Clint Wilder.

  • owen brown

    The Truth About Green Business by Gil Friend should definitely be in the top ten.

  • http://floriankaefer.wordpress.com/ Florian

    Definitely looking forward to the final list and propose it as a must read in my blog!

  • http://www.humanpotentialproject.com/ Chris Majer

    The two most powerful are Gil Friends' Truth about Green Business and McDonough's Cradle to Cradle. If you were to go with those two you would be in good shape.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/5IQU64NOTLLCMKXPSTYR3VYUII GENEVIEVEM

    “The Truth About Green Business” by Gil Friend and anything by Paul Hawken an the Lovins should be at the top of the list.
    If I ever finish MY book, we can discuss what we would do if we could Start the World Over in
    Earthlabs using the best information available.

  • orangeumad

    how / where does one vote?

  • http://twitter.com/Winafish Remy Chevalier

    If you're in the Connecticut area, in Norwalk, go visit http://www.the-aquarium.org, probably the largest environmental research library in the country, chronicling the entire evolution of the environmental movement as a pop culture phenomena. It's open to the public by appointment.

  • http://twitter.com/Winafish Remy Chevalier

    If you're in the Connecticut area, in Norwalk, go visit http://www.the-aquarium.org, probably the largest environmental research library in the country, chronicling the entire evolution of the environmental movement as a pop culture phenomena. It's open to the public by appointment.

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