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Over the years, there have surfaced a variety of effective, insightful books on environmental sustainability and all its facets. These texts, which span multiple decades, cover many key aspects of sustainability, from recycling approach to the impact of green business models on stakeholders.

Here are a few essential books on sustainability.


“Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way we Make Things” by William McDonough Michael Braungart (2002)

This book presents a series on observations on “integration of design and science that provides enduring benefits for society from safe materials, water and energy in circular economies and eliminates the concept of waste.” Mcdonough and Braungart’s framework boils down to three crucial nature-based principles: “everything is a resource for something else,” “use clean and renewable energy,” and “celebrate diversity.” The book is an essential read for those interested in the innovation and redesigning of sustainability in the 21st century.


“Green to Gold: How Smart Companies Use Environmental Strategy to Innovate, Create Value, and Build Competitive Advantage” by Daniel Esty and Andrew Winston (2006)

Written by two Yale experts, “Green to Gold” examines environmental strategy in business. Specifically, the text explores how such strategy can impact “financial results in relation to customers and dealers,” and on the company’s reputation.” In this sense, sustainability is examined both historically and pragmatically — with business’s overall approach and handling of environmental responsibility serving as the text’s foundation.


“Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature” by Janine Benyus (1997)

Janine Benyus’s profound text, originally published in 1997, touches on a variety of enduringly relevant themes pertaining to nature, the environment, and the way we can use both to “solve our toughest 21st-century problems.” Ideas explored, in this regard, include sea shells, brain cells, and photosynthesis. At its heart, the text follows a strong message of being a more resourceful species for the sake of our future.