“Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution” by Paul Hawken, Amory B. Lovins, and L. Hunter Lovins
Previous industrial revolutions made people 100 times more productive when low per-capita output was limiting progress in exploiting a seemingly boundless natural world. Today we face a different pattern of scarcity: abundant people and labor-machines, but diminishing natural capital.
Natural capital refers to the earth’s natural resources and the ecological systems that provide vital life-support services to society and all living things. These services are of immense economic value; some are literally priceless, since they have no known substitutes. Yet current business practices typically fail to take into account the value of these assets which is rising with their scarcity. As a result, natural capital is being degraded and liquidated by the very wasteful use of resources such as energy, materials, water, fiber, and topsoil.
The next industrial revolution, like the previous ones, will be a response to changing patterns of scarcity. It will create upheaval, but more importantly, it will create opportunities. Natural capitalism's a new business model that enables companies to fully realize these opportunities.
Natural Capitalism involves four major shifts in business practices;