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Nine books to read on ESG

Grow the Pie: How Great Companies Deliver Both Purpose and Profit by Alex Edmans.
The writer, a finance professor, argues that ESG-conscious investing is about achieving growth through purpose, not sacrificing financial returns for the greater good. The book provides specific examples of how senior business executives can run companies for purpose and how investors can identify companies that truly have purpose.

How to Avoid a Climate Disaster by Bill Gates
How to Avoid a Climate Disaster is a practical guide to achieving net zero and a valuable tool for people dealing with climate anxiety. Bill Gates highlights the incredible progress we’ve made in developing climate solutions and outlines the steps we need to take to reverse global warming. This is an excellent book on climate change

There is no Planet B by Mike Berners-Lee
Berners-Lee examines realistic ways to reduce our environmental impact and share the burden equally. What sets his book apart is his willingness to confront the difficult realities of more sustainable living. He argues that fighting climate change requires more than just new regulations. Berners-Lee calls for a shift in society’s underlying values and offers practical tips for living more sustainably through mindful consumption, sharing, and cooperation. This refreshingly simple take on the climate crisis is written in an accessible style, making it a great introduction to the topic, but it also goes deep enough to appeal to seasoned climate activists.

The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability – Designing for Abundance By William McDonough and Michael Braungart
This book is a sequel to their book ‘Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things.’ This builds on the decade of experience applying the cradle-to-cradle philosophy in collaboration with businesses, governments, and individuals. The authors present their vision for the next phase in addressing our environmental challenges. Rather than merely reusing resources more efficiently, they advocate for enhancing resources during their use.

The Sustainability Scorecard: How to Implement and Profit from Unexpected Solutions by Urvashi Bhatnagar and Paul Anastas
Utilizing a rigorous and straightforward scorecard as a guiding tool, this book provides business leaders and innovators with a roadmap for creating revolutionary sustainable products and processes that benefit the environment, human health, and profitability. Grounded in Paul Anastas’s foundational Twelve Principles of Green Chemistry, the Sustainability Scorecard introduces the first scientifically grounded, data-driven methodology for crafting inherently sustainable and profitable solutions. By integrating sustainability as a core design principle, companies open the door to unexpected solutions, innovative leaps, and sources of value that simply do not materialize when sustainability is treated solely as a risk-mitigation and compliance measure. The book shares numerous examples illustrating how sustainable practices can lead to advantages such as expanding market share, developing new service lines, and revolutionizing supply chain and sourcing models to deliver the most consistent and enduring value.

The Climate Book: The Facts and the Solutions by Greta Thunberg
In ‘The Climate Book,’ Greta Thunberg has curated the collective wisdom of over a hundred experts, including geophysicists, oceanographers, meteorologists, engineers, economists, mathematicians, historians, philosophers, and indigenous leaders. This compilation equips the reader with the essential knowledge required to address the impending climate crisis. In the book, Greta shares her own experiences of activism and exposing instances of greenwashing across the globe, shedding light on the extent to which information has been withheld from us. She demonstrates that while this is one of our most significant challenges, it is also our most potent source of hope.

Small is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered by E. F. Schumacher

This book holds a special place among our favorites. ‘Small is Beautiful,’ initially released in 1973, has served as a pioneering work on sustainability for many years, and its relevance continues to grow with each passing year. Schumacher’s thesis challenges the prevailing ‘bigger is better’ mindset of industrialism, asserting that it is detrimental. He advocates for a reevaluation of our priorities, suggesting that if we genuinely care about people, we should strive to strike a more harmonious balance between economic growth and its impact on human well-being.

Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, published in 1962, is a groundbreaking work of environmental literature that exposed the devastating impact of pesticides on the environment. Carson’s meticulously researched and eloquently written book sparked a national conversation about environmental protection and helped to launch the modern environmental movement.
Carson’s work faced fierce opposition from the chemical industry, but her message resonated with the public and led to the banning of DDT in 1972. Silent Spring is credited with preventing the release of many other harmful chemicals into the environment, making it a landmark work in environmental protection.

The Overstory, by Richard Powers

This is a novel about nine Americans who fight the destruction of the forests, inspired by their life experiences with trees. This was a very powerful and inspiring book on protecting trees. This book won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

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