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A review of the book Natural Capitalism (Book Review Sample)


A review of the book Natural Capitalism.


A review of Natural capitalism
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Natural capitalism
The economic activities of humans have continued to interfere with the environment especially since the beginning of the industrial revolution. Environmentalists have often warned these activities are exceeding the threshold limit that can sustainably be accommodated by the environment. Humanity has not heeded to this warning, and has continued to deplete the environment by using new innovative technologies. These new technological approaches contribute to a decline of the living systems. Human economic activities should not be in conflict with the wellbeing of the environment. In fact a lot of benefit can be derived through reconciliation of these conflicting factors. Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution, by Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins, and L. Hunter Lovins, is the first book that focuses on the rewarding opportunities for businesses in an era of putting environmental limits into consideration during business operation.
This book is a brand-new blueprint for a new economy. The authors, who are leading business-creative thinker, expound how the world is on the brink of a new industrial revolution. This type of revolution promises to bring a transformation on the commercial activities that promise to contribute towards shaping the future. Natural Capitalism defines a future whereby business and environmental interests progressively intersect, and in which businesses are in a better position to satisfy the needs of their customers, increase profits, and assists in solving environmental problems simultaneously.
Natural capital can be described as the natural resources as well as the ecosystem services that are needed for economic activity to thrive and for the sustenance of life. These services are of massive economic value; some cannot be quoted using any monetary value, since there is nothing that can be of a substitute. Unfortunately, majority of the current business ventures in the world does not put into consideration the value of these assets which have continued to be less scarce. Consequently, natural capital is being tarnished and destroyed by the uneconomical utilization of resources like topsoil, water, energy, fiber and materials.
Economic activities in the world have led into the destruction of the biosphere thereby interfering with its ability to sustain life. Natural resources have been over exploited. Resources and ecosystem services emanate from the earth, and can as well come from the similar biological system, even though they are different. For instance, the forest provides resources like wood, and also ecosystem services such as habitat, water storage and regulation of the atmospheric gases such as oxygen and carbon dioxide as well as the regulation of climate.
According to the authors of natural capitalism the global economy depends on natural resources and ecosystem services that are provided by nature. Natural Capitalism is a perfect criticism of the old-fashioned "Industrial Capitalism". This type of capitalism does not put into consideration its own accounting principles. It discharges its capital and refers to it as income. It does not assign any value to the natural capital employs, that is, the natural resources and living systems, in addition to the cultural and social and cultural system that forms the basis of human capital.
In natural capitalism, the vital interdependency that exists between the creation and use of human-made capital as well as the maintenance and supply of natural capital is recognized. The authors postulate that only through the recognition of the essential relationship between valuable resources, businesses and the people that peaceful and productive coexistence can be attained in the world.
The main issues or choices that come about in this book are as follows: The status of the economy if all forms of capital are fully valued; what would be the outcome if the organization of the economy were based on accountancy and neoclassical economics, and not based on biological realities of nature? What would be the scenario in a case whereby the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles consider the natural and human capital as integral, finite and valuable factors of production, and not as a free amenity whose supply is inexhaustible? What would it be like if companies did not enforce such practice like accounting? Adoption of the best choices provides a window into a set of new opportunities that would be beneficial to the whole society. The book provides practical examples for companies that would like to venture into the sustainable future.
The author expounds on four strategic approaches which include conservation of resources through the application of efficient manufacturing processes, sustaining natural resources, recycling of materials as they exist in nature, and valuating based on quality and not on quantity. The traditional industrial capitalism basically recognized the value of money and goods as capital. On the other hand Natural Capitalism gives an extension of this recognition to include natural capital and human capital. Problems like social injustice and pollution may then be viewed as a lack of proper accountability for capital, rather than as integral botches of capitalism itself.
The limitation of this book is actually the implementation of its principles since there are various fundamental assumptions which are as follows:
* The accessibility and functionality of natural capital, especially the services that support lif...
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