Skip to content

Good Books To Write A Research Paper On Sustainable Development

Continuing with our series of "hot lists" (check out our lists of hot products and business model innovations) this third installment previews 13 hot books whose authors will speak at Sustainable Brands ’13 next month. As with the previous two lists, we had trouble isolating only 13 highlights from the sea of world-class thought leadership active in the Sustainable Brands community. While we do feel we simply have to share these 13 recently released must-reads, we’re also adding a bonus list of 10 other slightly older, but still absolutely indispensable, sustainability books whose authors will also be with us at SB’13 in June. Have a look and take notes:

  1. The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability — Designing for Abundance, by William McDonough and Michael Braungart, is the long-awaited sequel to Cradle to Cradle, arguably one of the few most influential sustainability books of all time. The Upcycle promises to be at least as impactful and comes fresh off the printing press!
  2. Plowing with Pigs and Other Creative, Low-Budget Homesteading Solutions, by Oscar H. Will and Karen Will, offers practical tips on achieving a high degree of self-sufficiency, homesteader style, through smart use of ‘sweat equity’ and other often underestimated resources.
  3. Business Is Beautiful: The Hard Art of Standing Apart, by Jean-Baptiste Danet, Nick Liddell, Lynne Dobney, and Dorothy MacKenzie, examines unique and deeply inspiring cases of business success proving (yet again) the corporate world can be a force for beauty, human greatness and value much more encompassing than what can be captured by the mere measure of profit.
  4. Shopping for Good, by Dara O'Rourke, summarizes a debate on the idea that better-informed shoppers would make ethical decisions about the way they shop, helping to create a more just and environmentally friendly global economy. Eight esteemed experts dissect O'Rourke’s views.
  5. Winning the Story Wars: Why Those Who Tell (and Live) the Best Stories Will Rule the Future, by Jonah Sachs, has turned into an instant must-have classic on storytelling, a tool vital to the success of any corporate communications campaign in an era of information overload and instant content gratification. 
  6. Share or Die: Voices of the Get Lost Generation in the Age of Crisis, by Malcolm Harris and Neal Gorenflo, is a well-researched and inspiring guide into what is quickly becoming well-known as the global sharing economy — a set of new visions for exchanging economic value while reducing the amount and negative impacts of material possessions.
  7. The New Sustainability Advantage: Seven Business Case Benefits of a Triple Bottom Line, by Bob Willard, shows how sustainability strategies can increase revenue, reduce costs, avoid impending risks and enhance brand value, resulting in profit improvements of 51-81% within three to five years for a typical company.
  8. The Way Out: Kick-Starting Capitalism To Save Our Economic Ass, by Hunter Lovins and Boyd Cohen, argues, in a clear and unapologetic voice, that the only way to rebuild the global economy, cities and job markets while assuring peaceful national security is to do precisely what you would do if you were scared to death about climate change.
  9. We First: How Brands and Consumers Use Social Media To Build a Better World, by Simon Mainwaring, is a powerful account of everything brands have to gain from an always-on and always-authentic social media presence.
  10. Latinnovating: Green American Jobs and the Latinos Creating Them, by Graciela Tiscareno-Sato, delights with its stories of Latino entrepreneurs innovating for sustainability and changing both their own lives and the world for the better, all while building a helpful image of green-mindedness for Latino communities across the country.
  11. Beautiful and Abundant, by Bryan Welch, examines the gap in vision for the future many of us experience and witness in fellow citizens, business leaders and policy makers. To build a beautiful and abundant future, Welch argues powerfully, we have to imagine it boldly, together, first. This book is a compelling sustainability Renaissance attitude guide that will serve you well in times of uncertainty, rapid change and messy, chaotic transitions.
  12. The HIP Investor: Make Bigger Profits by Building a Better World, by Paul Herman, is a lucid and data-heavy analysis of ways smart investors can inform themselves about, and benefit from, re-routing their funds towards companies returning human impact AND profit. Herman is uniquely equipped to translate complex sustainability thought leadership into a language the finance world understands.
  13. You Unstuck: Mastering the New Rules of Risk-Taking at Work and in Life, by Libby Gill, discusses the (surprising) difference between True Hope and False Hope, and formulates wise lessons in getting unstuck in one’s career, finances, health and relationships. As a renowned executive coach, Gil offers timely tips on employee engagement and organizational change.

Bonus list:

  1. The Day After Tomorrow: Images of Our Earth in Crisis, by J Henry Fair, James Hansen, Allen Hershkowitz, Jack Hitt, Roger Hodge, Frances Mayes, John Rockwell and Tensie Whelan.
  2. Strategy for Sustainability: A Business Manifesto, by Adam Werbach.
  3. The Sustainability Champion's Guidebook: How To Transform Your Company, by Bob Willard.
  4. The Truth About Green Business, by Gil Friend.
  5. Revolution in a Bottle: How TerraCycle Is Redefining Green Business, by Tom Szaky.
  6. Green to Gold: How Smart Companies Use Environmental Strategy To Innovate, Create Value and Build Competitive Advantage, by Daniel Esty and Andrew Winston.
  7. Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution, by Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins and Hunter Lovins.
  8. Just Good Business: The Strategic Guide to Aligning Corporate Responsibility and Brand, by Kellie McElhaney.
  9. Igniting Inspiration: A Persuasion Manual for Visionaries, by John Marshall Roberts.
  10. Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, by William McDonough and Michael Braungart.

As always, we would love to hear your thoughts, so please let us know what you think in the comments section below. 


Dimitar is the Director of Content Development at Sustainable Brands. He joined the team after earning a Master’s degree in Management Science & Engineering – focused on sustainable business – from Stanford University. Before Stanford, Dimitar worked in international development… [Read more about Dimitar Vlahov]


Copyright Information

For Authors

Submission of a manuscript implies: that the work described has not been published before (except in form of an abstract or as part of a published lecture, review or thesis); that it is not under consideration for publication elsewhere; that its publication has been approved by all co-authors, if any, as well as – tacitly or explicitly – by the responsible authorities at the institution where the work was carried out.

Author warrants (i) that he/she is the sole owner or has been authorized by any additional copyright owner to assign the right, (ii) that the article does not infringe any third party rights and no license from or payments to a third party is required to publish the article and (iii) that the article has not been previously published or licensed. The author signs for and accepts responsibility for releasing this material on behalf of any and all co-authors. Transfer of copyright to Springer (respective to owner if other than Springer) becomes effective if and when a Copyright Transfer Statement is signed or transferred electronically by the corresponding author. After submission of the Copyright Transfer Statement signed by the corresponding author, changes of authorship or in the order of the authors listed will not be accepted by Springer.

The copyright to this article, including any graphic elements therein (e.g. illustrations, charts, moving images), is assigned for good and valuable consideration to Springer effective if and when the article is accepted for publication and to the extent assignable if assignability is restricted for by applicable law or regulations (e.g. for U.S. government or crown employees).

The copyright assignment includes without limitation the exclusive, assignable and sublicensable right, unlimited in time and territory, to reproduce, publish, distribute, transmit, make available and store the article, including abstracts thereof, in all forms of media of expression now known or developed in the future, including pre- and reprints, translations, photographic reproductions and microform. Springer may use the article in whole or in part in electronic form, such as use in databases or data networks for display, print or download to stationary or portable devices. This includes interactive and multimedia use and the right to alter the article to the extent necessary for such use.

Authors may self-archive the Author's accepted manuscript of their articles on their own websites. Authors may also deposit this version of the article in any repository, provided it is only made publicly available 12 months after official publication or later. He/she may not use the publisher's version (the final article), which is posted on SpringerLink and other Springer websites, for the purpose of self-archiving or deposit. Furthermore, the Author may only post his/her version provided acknowledgement is given to the original source of publication and a link is inserted to the published article on Springer's website. The link must be accompanied by the following text: "The final publication is available at link.springer.com".

Prior versions of the article published on non-commercial pre-print servers like arXiv.org can remain on these servers and/or can be updated with Author's accepted version. The final published version (in pdf or html/xml format) cannot be used for this purpose. Acknowledgement needs to be given to the final publication and a link must be inserted to the published article on Springer's website, accompanied by the text "The final publication is available at link.springer.com". Author retains the right to use his/her article for his/her further scientific career by including the final published journal article in other publications such as dissertations and postdoctoral qualifications provided acknowledgement is given to the original source of publication.

Author is requested to use the appropriate DOI for the article. Articles disseminated via link.springer.com are indexed, abstracted and referenced by many abstracting and information services, bibliographic networks, subscription agencies, library networks, and consortia.

For Readers

While the advice and information in this journal is believed to be true and accurate at the date of its publication, neither the authors, the editors, nor the publisher can accept any legal responsibility for any errors or omissions that may have been made. The publisher makes no warranty, express or implied, with respect to the material contained herein.

All articles published in this journal are protected by copyright, which covers the exclusive rights to reproduce and distribute the article (e.g., as offprints), as well as all translation rights. No material published in this journal may be reproduced photographically or stored on microfilm, in electronic data bases, video disks, etc., without first obtaining written permission from the publisher (respective the copyright owner if other than Springer). The use of general descriptive names, trade names, trademarks, etc., in this publication, even if not specifically identified, does not imply that these names are not protected by the relevant laws and regulations.

Springer has partnered with Copyright Clearance Center's RightsLink service to offer a variety of options for reusing Springer content. For permission to reuse our content please locate the material that you wish to use on link.springer.com or on springerimages.com and click on the permissions link or go to copyright.com, then enter the title of the publication that you wish to use. For assistance in placing a permission request, Copyright Clearance Center can be connected directly via phone: +1-855-239-3415, fax: +1-978-646-8600, or e-mail: info@copyright.com.


© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht