I am in the process of reading a terrific new book, by Auden Schendler, Sustainability Director for Aspen Skiing Company. But Andrew Jones beat me to the punch with his review. So am reprinting his post here. This allows me to kill two birds with one stone [Note to self: Need new, eco-friendly metaphor], since I also wanted to draw attention to Andrew’s amazing work using climate simulations to educate policymakers on what it will take to preserve a livable climate. Auden is well known to CP readers as one of the hardest working people in the sustainability trenches (see Schendler I: Those quotes in Businessweek’s “Little Green Lies”) and a skeptic of rip-offsets (see “Schendler II: Good RECs vs. Bad RECs“).]
Old friend and fellow Rocky Mountain Institute alumnus Auden Schendler this week has released a gem of a book: “Getting Green Done — Hard Truths from the Front Lines of the Sustainability Revolution.”
I gobbled down over the past few days. The delightful experience of reading Auden’s insights and real-world anecdotes about reducing the environmental impact of the Aspen Skiing Company reminded me of reading Paul Hawken’s The Ecology of Commerce in 1993 or hearing Interface’s Ray Anderson’s classic keynotes soon after. Inspiring. Hopeful. Asking for the best from business and all of us.
And yet “Getting Green Done” is a book for a new decade and responds to the urgency of this year by taking an extra step: in his on-the-ground projects, Schendler has won, lost, lost again, and he reflects honestly about the journey. He breaks with the sustainability pack that spreads the half-truth that “Green is Easy” and prepares us for the important yet challenging work of remaking our economy to support the viability of life on Earth. And makes us laugh along the way.
We need to radically increase the ratio of grunts to visionaries, with fewer grand pronouncements made from podiums and more belly-crawling through the swamps.
And you can watch and hear Auden in a short video here.
Having just returned from making grand pronouncements from DC podiums, this book stung in the best way. It is time to roll up our sleeves, people!
– Andrew Jones
[JR: Auden has said he will give me a book excerpt to publish as soon as I figure out which one would be the best. But I don't recommend a lot of books and this one should be read by anyone who wants to understand the hard work of sustainability.]