Books and Publications

[Home]  [Up]

Access to information about applying sustainable development is provided, with hot spot links, under four headings:

Note: Highly recommended books are marked WB01626_.gif (272 bytes), those marked wpe2.gif (941 bytes) are recent additions to this page.

Books (alphabetically by author)

These books are particularly relevant to applying sustainable development. This emphasises working with people and organisations in the private, public and voluntary sectors.  The books cover education, personal learning and development, teamwork, alliance building and organisational transformation. A wide selection of books that describe how sustainable development evolved, why it is important, the state of the world and how a sustainable future could be achieved will also be found here. Some of the books are described more fully on the publishers' web sites.

wpe2.gif (941 bytes) Allaby, Michael, Thinking Green: an Anthology of Essential Ecological Writing, Barrie & Jenkins, London 1989.

Ayres, Robert U, Turning Point: an end to the growth paradigm, published by Earthscan, 1998

Boyle, David, Funny Money: In Search of Alternative Cash, published by Harper Collins, 1999, see their web site

WB01626_.gif (272 bytes)Brown, Lester et al, State of the World 1999: Special Millennium Edition, Earthscan, 1999. This edition looks back over the past century and forward to the next, focusing on economics, energy, materials, forests, oceans, biodiversity, population, cities, violent conflict and how to build a sustainable society. State of the World reports have  been published annually by the Worldwatch Institute since 1990 and every edition is now translated into 30 languages.

WB01626_.gif (272 bytes)Brown, Lester et al, Vital Signs, published annually by Earthscan, since 1992/93; see also Worldwatch Institute.

Callenbach, Ernest et al, EcoManagement: the Elmwood Guide to Ecological Auditing and Sustainable Business, Berrett-Koehler San Francisco 1993. This is an excellent practical guide (now out of print) to incorporating deep ecology into your business. EcoManagement is environmental management with systems thinking and deep ecology.

Crosbie, Liz & Ken Knight, Strategy for Sustainable Business, McGraw-Hill, 1995.

Darwin, Charles, The Origin of Species, Oxford World's Classics, 1996. Charles Darwin's ground breaking book, first published in 1859, is still widely available and his theories have been massively supported and extended by many more recent studies.

Edwards, David, The Link between Company Environmental and Financial Performance, Earthscan, 1999. This report demonstrates the quantitative links between environmental and financial performance for the UK's best and worst environmental performers across a range of business sectors. It shows that there is no financial penalty for being environmentally proactive and confirms US findings that good environmental performance improves a company's financial performance. See the web site.

Ehrlich, Paul and Anne Ehrlich, The Population Explosion, Hutchinson London, Sydney, Auckland and Johannesburg, 1990. See pages 55-59 for their I=PAT equation, described on the models for change page.

WB01626_.gif (272 bytes)Elkington, John, Cannibals with Forks: the Triple Bottom Line for 21st Century Business, 1997, published by Capstone, Oxford. John Elkington is the founder of SustainAbility and his books can be purchased direct from them.

Elkington, John and Julia Hailes, Manual 2000: Life Choices for the Future You Want, 1998, published by Hodder and Stoughton. This book can be purchased direct from SustainAbility.

Gadgil, Madhav, Ecology and Equity: the Use and Abuse of Nature in Contemporary India, Routledge, London, 1995.

Garratt, Bob, The Fish Rots from the Head, Harper Collins, 1996.

WB01626_.gif (272 bytes)Geus, Arie de, The Living Company, Nicholas Breeley Publishing London, 1997.

WB01626_.gif (272 bytes)Gore, Al, Earth in the Balance: forging a new common purpose, Earthscan, 1992. All Gore wrote this book after he failed to gain the Democratic nomination in 1992 and before he became Bill Clinton's running mate in the Presidential elections that year. It is based on a massive amount of information he gleaned serving on several Senate committees.

Goyder, Mark, Living Tomorrow's Company, published by Gower, 1998 and available from them or from the Centre for Tomorrow's Company.

WB01626_.gif (272 bytes)Hammond, Allen, Which World? Scenarios for the 21st Century: Global Destinies, Regional Choices, Earthscan, 1999. This book is the result of 5 years research by three leading institutes and describes, vividly, three global options: Market World, Fortress World and Transformed World with evidence to support each scenario. These three scenarios are then developed for each major region and enable the reader to feel what each would be like. "The key challenge facing humanity is to envisage the future we want and then to set about making it happen."

WB01626_.gif (272 bytes)Hawken, Paul, The Ecology of Commerce, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London, 1993.

WB01626_.gif (272 bytes)wpe2.gif (941 bytes) Hawken, Paul, Amory Lovins and Hunter Lovins, Natural Capitalism: the next Industrial Revolution, published by Earthscan, 1999, and described on it's own web site The book explains how ecological and economic goals can be reconciled, so that the world can grow simultaneously richer and greener. The authors seek to describe "capitalism as if living systems mattered". Their aim is to offer an eco-friendly economy that can accommodate a doubling of the world's population and how people can live better, within the planet’s natural constraints. To achieve this goal means that business and the environment must  reach a peaceful and constructive conclusion.

Hutchinson, Colin, Vitality and Renewal: a Manager's Guide for the 21st Century, Adamantine Press, email. In the USA the book is sold by Praeger, part of Greenwood publishing.

WB01626_.gif (272 bytes)Hutchinson, Colin, Building to Last: the Challenge for Business Leaders, 1997. See the web site for this book or for Earthscan, or contact by email or

wpe2.gif (941 bytes) IUCN, UNEP & WWF, Caring for the Earth: A Strategy for Sustainable Living, The World Conservation Union, Gland Switzerland, 1991.

WB01626_.gif (272 bytes)Jacobs, Michael, The Politics of the Real World, Earthscan, 1996, endorsed by The Real World Coalition - a group of over 30 of UK's leading voluntary and campaigning organisations.

Jaworski, Joseph, Synchronicity - good on the subject of Shell Scenarios. See also Which World?

John-Roger, Spiritual Warrior: The Art of Spiritual Living, published by  Mandeville Press, Los Angeles, CA, US $20.00, described on the Spiritual Warrior web site. Available from the USA via: Compendium, Maher Books, 'Spiritual Warrior' is very much a 'tool kit' for discovering our true spiritual selves while staying protected from the adversity that goes with the territory. It is ideal therefore for those of us who want to bring Spirit more into our work as developers.

wpe2.gif (941 bytes) Korten, David, The Post-Corporate World: Life after Capitalism, 1999, Kumarian Press, West Hartford and Berrett-Koehler, San Francisco. In this book Korten focuses on capitalism rather than the market, which was the main theme in his previous book When Corporations Rule the World. He offers ten commandments for positive action, which include: putting costs on decision-makers, favouring human-scale firms with stakeholder ownership, equity, disclosure, and diversity with self-reliance.

Ledgerwood, Grant (Ed), Greening the Boardroom, Greenleaf Publishing 1997.

Lorimer, David (Ed), The Spirit of Science from Experiment to Experience, Floris Books, 1998. This book includes the text of lectures given by people such as Fritjof Capra, James Lovelock and Rupert Sheldrake. It is divided into four parts: Cosmology and Physics, Biology and Gaia, Consciousness and Psychology, and Mysticism and Spirituality.

Martin, W. H. and S. Mason are authors of Transforming the Future: re-thinking free time and work, published 1998; a 4-page summary is available free from them by email: Their book recommends that policy making needs to view life as a whole and that re-thinking the relationship between free time, work and the quality of life is the key to transforming the way the UK develops over the next 25 years - reported in Turning Point 2000 September 1998.

Milbrath, Lester, Envisaging a Sustainable Society: learning our way out, 1989, published by State University of New York Press.

Molden, Dave and Jon Symes, Realigning for Change: eight principles of purposeful change, Financial Times Pitman Publishing, 1998, web site.

Moxen, John and Peter A Strachan, Managing Green Teams, Greenleaf Publishing 1998

WB01626_.gif (272 bytes)Nixon, Bruce, Making a Difference published by Gilmour Drummond Publishing, 1998, by email:, or contact the author. There have been many very favourable reviews of this book which is praised for its readable style, down-to-earth practical approach and offering a wealth of helpful advice in a UK context.

Ottman, Jacquelyn, Green Marketing: Opportunity for Innovation, 2nd edition, published by NTC Contemporary Books, 1998, web site.

Rathnaswamy, Dr. P, International Environmental Management: a new theory of empowerment of sustainable development, published by Manas Publication , Daryaganj, NewDelhi, India, 1998.

Robertson, James, Transforming Economic Life - A Schumacher Briefing published by Green Books for the Schumacher Society, in association with the New Economics Foundation, 1998.

wpe2.gif (941 bytes) Robertson, James, The New Economics of Sustainable Development: A Briefing for Policy Makers, 1999, Kogan Page, London, or see their web site at

Roome, Nigel (Ed), Sustainability Strategies for Industry: The Future of Corporate Practice, published by Island Press, Washington DC and Covelo CA.

Sadler, Philip, Leadership, Kogan Page, 1997, see their web site

WB01626_.gif (272 bytes)Sadler, Philip, Leadership in Tomorrow's Company, 1998, available from Centre for Tomorrow's Company by email.

Schell, Jonathan, The Gift of Time, 1998, Granta. Schell is also the author of The Fate of the Earth, published in the 1980s. Both books present arguments for nuclear disarmament. The recent book includes strong support from many eminent ministers of defence and generals, including Robert McNamara, US Secretary of Defence and General George Lee Butler, former Commander of the US Strategic Air Command, who would have had to pass on the orders from the President if a nuclear strike had been ordered. He is now convinced that nuclear disarmament of even abolition is right.

Schwarz, Walter and Dorothy Schwarz, Living Lightly: travels in post-consumer society, 1998, published by Jon Carpenter. A fascinating account of how people around the world are adjusting their lifestyles to reduce their impact on the natural environment and achieve a more socially sustainable way of life. Credit card orders can be arranged by Jon Carpenter - Telephone: +44 (0)1689 870437.

WB01626_.gif (272 bytes)Senge, Peter, The Fifth Discipline, Century Business (part of Random House), 1992. There is also a CD-ROM on Activating the Fifth Discipline available from Euromanagement at 185 and a Video.

wpe2.gif (941 bytes) Suzuki, David with Amanda McConnell, The Sacred Balance: Rediscovering Our Place in Nature, 1997, Bantam Books, London, New York, Toronto, Sydney and Auckland. This is the most complete expression to date of an environmental ethic from one of the world's leading conservation writers, who has a beautiful, lucid style of writing.

Tyler Miller, G, Sustaining the Earth: an Integrated Approach, Wadsworth Publishing, California, 1996 If you need one book to explain the ecology and science of SD that underpins the environmental challenge this could be it.

WB01626_.gif (272 bytes) UNEP, Global Environment Outlook 2000, Earthscan 1999, is the benchmark reference for the new millennium on the state of the world's environment. It is written in clear, non-technical language and supported by informed graphics and tables which convey powerful messages. It is an essential source of information for those involved in policy making, implementation, assessment and research not only on environmental issues. It draws attention to the environmental and social impacts of all policies and activities. See more detail and reviews of this impressive book on the web at

Wackernagel, Mathis and William Rees, Our Ecological Footprint: Reducing Human Impact on the Earth, 1996, published by New Society Publishers, Gabriola Island, BC, Canada and Philadelphia, PA, USA

wpe2.gif (941 bytes) Ward, Halina, and Duncan Brack (Editors), Trade, Investment and the Environment, Earthscan, London and the Royal Institute for International Affairs, 2000. This book covers the proceedings of the RIIA conference in October 1998. It explores policies that are needed in a globalised economy if environmental protection is to be secured and how to move the debate on trade, investment and the environment beyond sterile adversarial debate to win-win solutions.

WB01626_.gif (272 bytes)Wehrmeyer, Walter (Ed), Greening People, Greenleaf Publishing, Sheffield England, 1996. This book includes articles by Tim Hart and Dr Suzanne Pollack, both of whom are listed in People for Solutions.

WB01626_.gif (272 bytes)Weizsacker, Ernst von and Amory Lovins, and L Hunter Lovins, Factor Four: Doubling Wealth, Halving Resource Use, described as one of the 1990's most important books, published 1997, see the web site for this book.

WB01626_.gif (272 bytes)Welford, Richard and Richard Starkey, The Earthscan Reader in Business and the Environment, 1996, described by New Scientist as "a fine assessment of a vital subject" see this book's web site.

Welford, Richard, Corporate Environmental Management 2: Culture and Organisation, 1997. The first book to address the fundamental role of a company's culture and organisation in determining its environmental performance. See the web site.

Willums, Jan-Olaf, The Sustainable Business Challenge: A Briefing for Business Leaders, published by Greenleaf Publishing, 1998. Tomorrow Magazine urges readers to surf this book for ideas. [No 6 Vol VIII Nov-Dec 1998]

Wilson, Alex; Jenifer L. Uncapher, Lisa A. McManigal, L. Hunter Lovins, Maureen Cureton, & William D. Browning, Green Development: Integrating Ecology and Real Estate, available from Rocky Mountain Institute - see their web site.

WB01626_.gif (272 bytes)Wilson, E. O., Consilience, 1998, Little, Brown Company, London (email). Consilience means the jumping together of knowledge by linking facts and theories across disciplines to create a common groundwork of explanation. Wilson states that Darwin's evolution by natural selection is confirmed by data from many fields including molecular biology, palaeontology and comparative anatomy. Even the Pope has admitted that evolution is as close as we can come to a scientific fact. Wilson says "God may exist but His fine hand is not needed to explain the biosphere". As the Earth's resources are depleted, its biodiversity reduced, its temperature rises and population increases profound ethical dilemmas arise. Wilson's summary is lucid and disturbing and he emphasises that the pursuit of knowledge is meaningless without an ethical framework. The biosphere made us what we are and sustains us. If we imagine that we are godlike and absolved from our biological heritage, we will become nothing. The final chapter "To What End?" is a brilliant summary of the global predicament with pointers towards both false and real solutions.

World Commission on Environment and Development, Our Common Future, 1987, Oxford University Press, Oxford and New York. This book is often referred to as "The Brundtland Report" because the World Commission was chaired by Gro Harlem Brundtland, Prime Minister of Norway. Chapter 2 (p43 of the quoted edition) starts with the definition of sustainable development that has been widely quoted.

Worpole, Ken (Ed), Richer Futures: fashioning a new politics, Earthscan, 1999. The book promotes a new politics of self-management and sustainable lifestyles. The chapter on Education on a Human Scale by Fiona Carnie is particularly impressive. See the web site describing this book at

Wyburd, Giles, Competitive and Ethical, Kogan Page, 1998, see their web site

Zadek, Simon, Peter Pruzan, and Richard Evans, Building Corporate Accountability 1997, Earthscan. Explains the emerging practice in social and ethical accounting, auditing and reporting.

Guides and booklets

Beyond the Twilight Zone: defining and managing key survival issues for corporate environmental sustainability by Steve Robinson, Chief Executive of The Environment Council. This booklet is available from The Environment Council at a nominal cost. The booklet describes a useful model, the recommended approach and a case study of how this was applied in Eastern Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Energy Group Plc, one of the UK's leading integrated electricity and gas utilities. There is a companion publication the Sustainable Business Forum Case Study on Eastern Group plc.

wpe2.gif (941 bytes) Carbon Trusts: Exploiting the Potential of Low carbon Technology, by the Advisory Committee on Business and the Environment, published jointly by the Department of the Environment Transport and the Regions (DETR) and the Department of Trade and Industry, available free of charge from DETR Free Literature, P O Box 236, Wetherby, West Yorkshire LS23 7NB, UK.

The CEO Agenda is a new booklet from SustainAbility. This report is an assessment of 100 companies, in particular the forewords signed by Chief Executive Officers (CEOs). The conclusion is that "there is virtually no comprehension of the triple bottom line of economic, social and environmental added value". However, eight "outstanding forewords" are identified. Eleven reports had no signed foreword and three were disappointing. The report includes ten things that SustainAbility would like to see in CEO statements in future.

A Declaration on Learning is a brief statement published by 8 people, all of whom are experienced management educators. Their pamphlet is available from Peter Honey - requests by email.

wpe2.gif (941 bytes) Engaging Employees: Environmental Training and Internal Communications by Jim Hopwood published by JL Publishing Ltd, Lavendon, Bucks MK46 4HB, email:

Environmental Reporting: getting started is published in the UK by the Department for the Environment, Transport and the Regions. It is a helpful guide for companies that have not yet produced their first environmental report and includes a useful bibliography. It does not specifically address sustainability.

Involving Business in Local Agenda 21 is a practical guide published jointly by Forum for the Future and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF UK - 01483 426444)

Making a Difference by Harvey Elliott addresses the question of Climate Change and describes some of the problems and some of the answers. It is published by WWF-UK

Where to Buy Organic Food, published by The Soil Association, 1998

Who Needs it? investigates the market implications of sustainable lifestyles and is published by SustainAbility.

Magazines and Journals

These magazines describe examples of and ideas for applying sustainable development and many of the web sites provide links to other useful sites:

BBC Wildlife is published monthly and contains a wealth of information about the natural environment, topical issues and it includes a regular column, always stimulating, by Jonathon Porritt, one of Britain's foremost environmentalists. Contact by email:

Conscious Choice is the Journal of Ecology and Natural Living - see their web site at

The Ecologist is published by Ecosystems Ltd. Contact by email: and see their web site. Volume 29 No 2 is a special issue entitled Climate Crisis which explains that severe climate change could occur much sooner than previously predicted, how every aspect of our lives will be affected, why governments have done so littler about it and what has to be done now to restabilise global climate. This issue includes The Ecologist's Declaration on Climate Change signed by over 150 scientists and eminent people and invites others to sign the declaration by email to:

Electronic Green Journal based in Idaho, USA publishes interesting news and reviews, web site

wpe2.gif (941 bytes) Environment Agency provides a Pollution Inventory which is a very helpful service for UK residents who want to know about pollutants where they live or where they plan to take a holiday. Go to the web site at then to the 'your environment' section and look in 'what's in your backyard'.

wpe2.gif (941 bytes) Environmental Data Services Ltd (ENDS), established 1978, publishes environmental information for business and their ENDS Report is available on subscription. See their web site for more information at  Also visit their Daily News web site at which is one of their free services.

Environmental Management and Policy Journals (ERP) are published by John Wiley and Sons Ltd. They include: Business Strategy and the Environment, European Environment, Eco-Management and Auditing, Environmental Policy and Planning, Journal of International Development, Sustainable Development (see their web site) and a further 14 journals covering technical subjects ranging from archaeology to toxicology. More information is available about these journals, the conferences organised by journal editors, and books published by John Wiley and Sons on their interscience web site or by email:

Environmental Organisation has a useful  Web Directory

wpe2.gif (941 bytes) Enviroscope is the newsletter of The Stationery Office and is available free on request from, see also their online website:

Ethical Investor is published six times a year, sometimes with a supplement, by Ethical Investment Research Services (EIRIS) and available from them on subscription.

Going Green the magazine of the Environmental Transport Association - see their web site

Greener Management International - information from the web site of Greenleaf Publishing.

Green Futures, the magazine of Forum for the Future and published 6 times a year.Email:

Green Spirit Resource Link provides an interesting booklist and the promise of much additional information linking ecology and spirituality on their evolving web site

Indicators Update is produced by the New Economics Foundation - Centre for Participation, and mentioned on the NEF web site

wpe2.gif (941 bytes) Interactive - the Shell Better Britain Campaign Network Newsletter. SBBC web site is at

Living Earth, the magazine of the Soil Association, published 6 times a year.

Living Green is the Newsletter of the Life Style Movement, published every four months and available from The Membership Secretary, 46 Ambrose Rise, LIVINGSTON, West Lothian EH54 6JT

London 21 Sustainability Network has launched a web site at It includes a searchable directory or organisations, online conferencing, mailing lists and chat as well as links to other London websites.

News from the New Economy is the newsletter of  New Economics Foundation, published quarterly contact them by email: and see their web site

Organisations & People is published quarterly by Gower, Croft Road, Aldershot, GU11 3HR, UK, guided by editors, associate editors and an Advisory Council all of whom have extensive experience of management, organisational development and change.

Permaculture Magazine published in England. Email:

Positive News published in the UK, contact by email: or see their web site

Resurgence, established in 1966, is an international forum for ecological and spiritual thinking, published in the UK with their own web site.

Rocky Mountain Institute Newsletter is available to supporters of RMI, email: and  web site

San Diego Earth Times - start with their four shades of green web site

Sustainable sources - US solutions-focused web site, with construction industry emphasis

Tomorrow  magazine is published in Sweden and has a growing circulation and reputation. Contact by email:  and see their web site. Every issue includes a supplement on the work of the World Business Council fro Sustainmable Development (WBCSD).

Turning Point 2000 newsletter is about shifting to a new path of progress, enabling for people and conserving for the the Earth and published by James Robertson and Alison Pritchard. Contact by email: or see their web site.

Warmer Bulletin provides worldwide information on PRISM - Preserving Resources through Integrated Sustainable Management of Waste. See their web site.

Yes! is a quarterly US publication with much useful information about progressive development in both the community and the environment. More information by phone 1-800/937-4451 or by fax 206/842-5208 . Subscriptions cost $24 pa.

Publications: Official Documents and Research Findings

Advisory Committee on Business and the Environment, eighth Progress Report to and Response from the Deputy Prime Minister, October 1998, available on the Internet web site.

Millennium Guide to Ethical and Environmental Investments published in February 1999 by Holden Meehan provides an up-to-date review of these investments and how ell their performance compares with unscreened investments. Their London or Bristol office will provide more information, contact by email.

Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) reports on sustainability can be seen on their web site.

The Real Green Book is the Directory of the Association for Environment Conscious Building members in the UK and Ireland. Contact AECB by email:  or see their web site.

Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, publish documents from time to time.

UK Government, Department of the Environment, Transport (DETR), provides a full listing of consultation papers, with deadlines and progress reports, on their web site. Their publication on UK Climate Change Programme, published in November 1998 requires comments by February 1999 and is available free from DETR, telephone: 0870 122 6236.

UK Government has published A Better Quality of Life: a Strategy for Sustainable Development in the UK as the White Paper on this subject, available from The Stationery Office (Cm4345) at 11.80. They have also published a free (Tel: 0870 1226 236) 8 page document, Monitoring Progress, which gives all the proposed indicators including the 14 Headline Indicators of Quality of Life, which are summarised in agenda for change.

UK Government Panel on Sustainable Development, led by Sir Crispin Tickell, Warden, Green College Centre, Radcliffe Observatory, Oxford.

UK Round Table on Sustainable Development, founded in 1995, has published reports on the following subjects, as well as Annual Reports. Copies can be obtained free of charge from their Secretariat (Tel: 0171 890 4964, Fax: 0171 890 4959), by email or from their web site:

WB01626_.gif (272 bytes)UN Human Development Report 1998, Richard Jolly (Principal Coordinator), published by Oxford University Press London and New York, 1998 on behalf of the United Nations Development Programme: web site These reports have been published annually since 1990 focusing on the process of enlarging people's choices. The 1998 report examines consumption from the perspective of human development and concludes that "more than a billion people lack the opportunities to consume in ways that would allow them to meet their most basic needs". It goes on to add that people in richer societies "are consuming in ways that cannot be long sustained environmentally or socially and that are quite often inimical to our own well-being."

Return to top of page

Last modified 25 November 1999