The Truth About Green Business (Truth About Series)

The Truth About Green Business (Truth About Series)

by Gil Friend



Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780789739407
Publisher: Que
Publication date: 06/12/2009
Series: Truth About Series
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Gil Friend is founder, President, and CEO of Natural Logic, Inc. Natural Logic provides advisory services in strategy, implementation, and performance measurement that help companies and communities prosper by embedding the laws of nature at the hearts of enterprise.

A systems ecologist and business strategist with nearly 40 years experience in business, communications, and environmental innovation, Friend combines broad business experience with unique content experience spanning strategy, systems ecology, economic development, management cybernetics, and public policy. Tomorrow magazine called him “One of the country’s leading environmental management consultants–a real expert who combines theoretical sophistication with hands-on, in-the-trenches know-how.” He is a founding board member of the Sustainable Business Alliance, Sustainable Berkeley, and the California Sustainable Business Council and serves on the executive board of and the advisory boards of CleanFish, WattBot, Green World Campaign, and (past) San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom’s Clean Tech Advisory Council. Friend served in the California Governor’s Office, developing early sustainability policies and programs, was a founding board member of Internet pioneer Institute for Global Communications, was founder and Executive Director of Foundation for the Arts of Peace, and was cofounder and codirector of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, a leading urban ecology and economic development “think-and-do tank,” where he pioneered the current “green roof” trend more than 35 years ago.

Friend lectures widely on business strategy and sustainability policy and writes “The New Bottom Line” ( offering strategic perspectives on business and environment. He has contributed chapters to several books, including Worldchanging: A User’s Guide to the 21st Century, Sustainable Enterprise Report, Sustainable Enterprise Fieldbook, Sustainable Food Systems, and Stepping Stones, and is the author of the forthcoming book Profit on Purpose: Risk, Fiduciary Duty and the Laws of Nature. He holds an M.S. degree in systems ecology from Antioch University, has a black belt in Aikido, and is a seasoned practitioner of “The Natural Step” environmental management system.

Table of Contents

Introduction ix

Part I: The Truth About Green Business

TRUTH 1: What is a green business?

TRUTH 2: Why green your business?

TRUTH 3: How to approach greening your business

TRUTH 4: Why now?

TRUTH 5: Climate change and your business

Part II: The Truth About Green Strategy

TRUTH 6: Profit and purpose

TRUTH 7: How green is good enough?

TRUTH 8: Green regulations

Part III: The Truth About Green Operations

TRUTH 9: Secrets hiding in plain sight

TRUTH 10: Eco-efficiency: Good for business and the environment

TRUTH 11: Waste? Not! Eliminating non-product

TRUTH 12: EcoAudits can guide your course

TRUTH 13: Running lean and green

TRUTH 14: Carbon footprinting

TRUTH 15: Reducing your carbon footprint

Part IV: The Truth About Green Marketing

TRUTH 16: Green branding and messaging

TRUTH 17: Creating strong EcoLabels

TRUTH 18: Green marketing claims

TRUTH 19: Reaching conscious consumers

Part V: The Truth About Green Products and Services

TRUTH 20: What makes a product green?

TRUTH 21: Product take-back

TRUTH 22: Product to service

TRUTH 23: What makes a service green?

Part VI: The Truth About Green Design

TRUTH 24: Biomimicry–learning from life

TRUTH 25: Reducing your product footprints

TRUTH 26: Cradle to cradle

TRUTH 27: Design with nature

TRUTH 28: Innovation is at the heart of greening

Part VII: The Truth About Green Procurement

TRUTH 29: Environmentally preferable purchasing

TRUTH 30: Supply chain management and partnerships

TRUTH 31: Supplier scorecards

TRUTH 32: Clearing the rising bar

Part VIII: The Truth About Green Buildings

TRUTH 33: LEED standards for green buildings

TRUTH 34: The cost of green building

TRUTH 35: Green buildings improve productivity

TRUTH 36: Integrative design for green building

Part IX: The Truth About Green IT

TRUTH 37: Computers and electronics

TRUTH 38: Creating more effi cient data centers

TRUTH 39: How IT can drive greening

Part X: The Truth About Green Management

TRUTH 40: Engaging employees

TRUTH 41: Engaging stakeholders

TRUTH 42: Keeping score

TRUTH 43: Employee incentives

TRUTH 44: Environmental management systems

Part XI: The Truth About Green Finance

TRUTH 45: Profit, value, and risk

TRUTH 46: Reality-based accounting

TRUTH 47: Investing in green and attracting green investment

TRUTH 48: Carbon trading and offsets

TRUTH 49: Fiduciary duty

Part XII: The Truth About Green Futures

TRUTH 50: Certainty in the face of uncertainty

TRUTH 51: Scenario planning

TRUTH 52: Future proofing

APPENDIX A: References


About the Author

Note: Appendix B is available online at no charge at

APPENDIX B: Resources



About this book—Green business, increasingly, is big business. Whether driven by market expectations, climate change, shifting regulations, or simply a commitment to do the right thing, green business has moved rapidly from the periphery to the mainstream and holds promise for businesses of every size in every sector.

Green isn’t just about environment. It also represents a way of seeing your business, and the challenges it faces, through a new lens—a lens that can bring both risks and opportunities into focus.

The promise plays out at the micro scale—the individual enterprise—in direct opportunities to put money in the pockets of owners, shareholders, and employees by cutting wasteful spending on excessive resource use.

And it plays out at the macro scale—national, regional, and municipal economies—with impacts on jobs, economic development, balance of payments, and quality of life. And—just maybe—it’s the engine to power us out of our current financial crises by investing in a new energy economy and clean new infrastructure.

This is not a book about treehuggers’ rhapsodic dreams (not that there’s anything wrong with dreams) but about the hard-nosed realities of business—and about the innovative new course being set by some of the world’s best companies, large and small.

It offers a distillation of my nearly 40 years of experience, in business, government, and the civic sector, bridging the commonly assumed but ultimately false conflicts between business and environment. And it builds on lessons learned over ten years as founder andCEO of Natural Logic, a strategy consultancy that has had the honor to work with clients as diverse as Hewlett-Packard and Odwalla, Conair and Levi Straus & Co., and the city of Berkeley and the World Bank to apply these ideas in the laboratory of the real world.

The Truth About Green Business is designed to help you tackle these grand ideas in simple, practical, profitable, bite-sized chunks. It’s intentionally brief, focused, and straightforward, and not encyclopedic (though I refer you to some books that are encyclopedic in the “Resources” appendix).

This book is organized into 12 sections (plus appendices available for free download at that summarize the major themes you need to understand to get your business on this new road. These sections include 52 bite-sized Truths that give you practical steps to take and key questions to explore to put these ideas into practice. Profitably.

How to use this book—The Truth About Green Business is modular and flexible. Feel free to read it cover to cover or to skip around based on what interests you; you’ll notice recurring themes and lots of inter-related material.

This book is not only short, it’s also inevitably incomplete. Green business is a rapidly changing field, one in which the best technologies and techniques are evolving daily, so no book on the subject can stay completely up to date for long. It was up to date at the time I wrote it and won’t be by the time you read it.

I’ve done three things to address that:

  1. I back up the “how to” specifics with timeless grounding principles that can help you think wisely to apply these Truths in inevitably changing situations.
  2. I provide a “Resources” appendix with references to key books that can take you deeper and links to some of the Web sites that I use to stay on top of this field. You can find it online at
  3. I invite you to visit me online at and my blog and Tweetstream You can sign up for seminars and online webinars that take you deeper; participate in discussions with me, my team, and other readers dealing with challenges similar to yours; and find out how Natural Logic can support you—with advisory services, education, coaching, and tools—on your path to becoming a greener, more profitable, and more satisfying business.

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

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