cover image The Ecology of Commerce: A Declaration of Sustainability

The Ecology of Commerce: A Declaration of Sustainability

Paul Hawken. HarperCollins Publishers, $23 (250pp) ISBN 978-0-88730-655-6

Hawken ( Growing a Business ) touches on a raw nerve here. How might millions of people live and work in a complex business environment while causing ``as little suffering as possible to all and everything around us?'' Hawken, no Luddite, believes that ``we need a design for business that will ensure that the industrial world as it is presently constituted ceases and is replaced with human-centered enterprises that are sustainable producers.'' Avoiding stormy rhetoric, Hawken thoughtfully reviews ecological theories and disasters and insists that ``ecology offers a way to examine all present economic and resource activities from a biological rather than a monetary point of view.'' Calling for a restorative economy, he proposes rational, achievable goals: stop ``accelerating the rate that we draw down capacity''; refrain from ``buying or degrading other people's environment''; and avoid displacing ``other species by taking over their habitats.'' This noteworthy study should kindle debates within the business community. (Nov.)