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Bookshelf: The Necessary Revolution: How Individuals and Organizations Are Working Together to Create a Sustainable World

July 11, 2008
By Peter Senge, Bryan Smith, Nian Kruschwitz, Joe Laur and Sara Schley, Doubleday, 2008, 432 pages, $29.95

In his first major book since The Fifth Discipline, lead author Peter Senge pursues a challenge for global society. He urges us to tackle today's sustainability crisis by helping us see and rethink the big-picture-system way we do business.

It's a book about the end of the Industrial Age Bubble -- the "take, make, waste" way of thinking that has dominated the developed world for the past 200 years. It is also a book about a new era of extraordinary opportunities for profitable innovation, if companies can move past environmental quick-fixes that make them seem "less bad" to integrating sustainability into their core strategies for value creation.

The examples cited include Coca-Cola's collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund to conserve clean water; the Xerox Lake Project with a zero-to-landfill goal of reducing waste; DuPont's shift away from oil-based feedstocks; GE's ecomagination initiative; Nike's green products; The Food Lab, a consortium of companies dedicated to sustainable agriculture; and Sweden's "Bio Region," where all energy needs are met without fossil fuels. The authors point out that all of these organizations found strategic and profitable opportunities by seeing the big picture, collaborating across boundaries and rethinking the way they do business.

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