The New Industrial Revolution

A foundational book on sustainability that you should add to your library is Natural Capitalism. It describes how the economy is reliant on our natural resources and how our current industrial capitalism does not consider the impact of natural resources within the accounting of our capital. This book presents the idea of natural capitalism and the need to recognize the influences of our natural resources, social and cultural systems on our capital and how this relationship is necessary in order for business to continue to coexist with our natural resources. The book describes four essential strategies for business including the improvement of manufacturing, the reuse of materials, changing quantity to quality, and restoring and sustaining our resources.

As I continue to elaborate on more ways sustainability can impact an organization, this insight for an upcoming industrial revolution allowed me to really connect the dots on how our overall economic relationship with our resources is poor and its improvement is necessary, not only for the environment but for organizations who want to be successful. Ideally, without these resources, organizations will struggle and perhaps fail to succeed without this substantial support system. The book itemized six assumptions for a possible natural capitalism:

  1. Availability and functionality of natural capital
  2. Poorly designed business systems that contain wasteful patterns of consumption
  3. Requires a market based system of production and distribution so capital can be fully valued
  4. Resource productivity
  5. Improve the quality and flow of services rather than the value of services
  6. Economic and environmental sustainability is crucial by redressing global inequities of income

As I look at how sustainability is being implemented throughout organizations, it is considerably beneficial to focus on how your organization will impact its success. The adaptation to good stewardship of community and environment and new sustainability systems of production and project implementation is essential for organizations. It is time to ask yourself how your organization can better its overall community and environmental impact using sustainability as its guide.

Take a look at this book to learn more about the impacts of natural capitalism and how it can benefit your organization.

Larry T. Barnard

BOOK: Hawken, P., Lovins, A., & Lovins, L. H. (1999). Natural Capitalism. Little, Brown & Company.

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