Strategies for the Green Economy

In Strategies for the Green Economy, published in 2008, Joel Makower distilled his decades of watching the green business scene and offers insights and inspiration for understanding and untangling the complexities and controversies of profiting in the growing green economy.

Through real-life stories and first-hand experiences, Makower raises and answers complicated, fascinating, and resonant questions about the realities of greening your business. Whether catering to a shade of green customer (and there are many), or understanding what constitutes a “good enough” green company, whether selling everything from cars to coffee, or determining when to lead the market and when to follow it, Makower’s engaging and realistic approach helps show the way.

“Joel Makower has been a front-row witness to the evolution of sustainable business. Strategies for the Green Economy documents the journey, joining big-picture perspective with ground-level practicalities in ways that will challenge and inspire even the most skeptical executive.” — Lorraine Bolsinger, Vice President, Ecomagination, GE

Makower drills down into consumers’ complex (and often hypocritical) attitudes on buying green, and the dangers of “greenwashing,” a term levied on companies viewed as disingenuous in creating a green image. He shows how companies have profitably integrated green thinking into their operations in a way that creates business value — and how others have failed.

“Strategies for the Green Economy offers a hopeful vision of companies transforming challenges into opportunities, re-imagining not just their products and processes, but themselves. Makower’s engaging stories and sharp insights show that companies need to comply not just with the laws of government and the marketplace, but also the laws of nature. This is an indispensable guide for any company seeking to not just survive, but thrive in years ahead.” — William McDonough, Architect and Co-author, Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things

Comprised of nearly 40 fast-paced chapters, the book offers anecdotes and case studies exploring the successes, failures, trends, and occasional absurdities of companies trying to prosper in the green economy. His stories take readers inside some of the best-known companies and brands, including Clorox, Coca Cola, General Motors, Patagonia, Starbucks, Stonyfield Farm, and Wal-Mart.

“A growing number of companies are finding pathways to a more sustainable future. No one tells this story better than Joel Makower, whose Strategies for the Green Economy charts the course for a new era of business, one in which forward-looking companies are creating products and services that aren’t just greener, but serve their customers better. This is critical reading for anyone who seeks to understand where tomorrow’s economic winners are going.” — William K. Reilly, founding partner, Aqua International Partners, and former administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

More reviews here.