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Books that Shaped my Sustainability Journey

Books That Shaped My Sustainability Journey

If you’re a bookworm looking for your next great read, no need to look further! In this article, I’ve compiled a list of must-read books that shaped my sustainable journey. So grab a cozy blanket, curl up with a hot beverage of choice, and dive into 2023 with one of these books.

1. The Carbon Almanac by The Carbon Almanac Network

You might recognize this book from Sarah’s article, where she provided a list with books for your holiday wishlist. I discovered this book shortly after its release and it has been an incredible resource for me. 

The Carbon Almanac is written by 300+ contributors and ranges in various topics about climate change. The great part? Every subject is explained in 1-2 pages in accessible language. For me, I use it as a resource guide for topics I know little to nothing about. I can look up a topic and understand the basics within 2 pages. In addition, the book provides a lot of resources to look into further.

Before buying this book, I often felt I was not doing ‘enough’. The Carbon Almanac showed me how to make a difference and which actions actually have the most impact. It changed my view on my own journey and reassured me I was on the right path. It also gave me new ideas to implement in my daily life!

English ISBN: 0593542517
Dutch ISBN: 9789461265005

2. Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist by Kate Raworth

Doughnut Economics is a book which was recommended to me by one of my lecturers during the pandemic. It was a top-notch recommendation! Kate Raworth is an economist who works at the University of Oxford as well as the Hogeschool van Amsterdam.

In this book, Raworth describes an economic model called ‘Doughnut Economics’, the model that made her famous among economists all around the world. Her economic model incorporates human needs and planetary boundaries. With this, she aims for balancing social and environmental sustainability.

Personally, this book helped me connect the economic world with sustainability and environmental boundaries. It challenged me to think more critically about growth and an organization’s impact on nature.

Overall, the book is a thought-provoking and accessible book that offers a new perspective on economic policy and a vision for a more sustainable and equitable future. If you’re interested in economics, sustainability, or social justice, this is a book that I would highly recommend.

English ISBN: 9781847941398 

Dutch ISBN: 9789046824795 

3. Organizing for Sustainability by Jan Jonker & Niels Faber

Organizing for Sustainability is a book I used last year during my studies. I was captivated by this book as it shows the important role companies have in climate change. Jonker and Faber introduce a sustainable business model called the BMT (Business Model Template). The book challenges you to implement sustainable practices into organizations and gives plenty of real-life examples to inspire you.

This book is not for everyone, which I fully understand. However, I can recommend it to students interested in:

  • Business
  • Leadership
  • Stakeholder management
  • Finance

Need another reason to love this book? The digital book is open access to reach as many students, teachers and organizations. You can find it here

English ISBN: 9783030781569 
Dutch ISBN: 9789024429097

4. Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming edited by Paul Hawken

Have you ever thought: “What is the most effective solution to reverse global warming?”. I can tell you, I have. Even though I think there’s no ‘one size fits all’ solution to climate change, we should evaluate which solutions make the most impact and which ones don’t.

In Drawdown, scientists did exactly that: the book covers the 100 most effective solutions that can reverse global warming. The book got a sequel in 2020: The Drawdown Review, which is updated with the latest research. Be aware this book is not your casual read: the book covers a lot of research and can be daunting to get through. Even though the material might be challenging for some, you can still learn a lot from this book, which is why I fully recommend it.

Whereas the book might lack some resources to investigate further, the website by the scientists behind it totally makes up for it. Just like the carbon almanac, this book is meant to be accessible and give an overview of their research. The website goes into much more depth and detail. 

English ISBN: 9780143130444 
Dutch ISBN: 9789078171324 

In Conclusion…

These books brought the importance of sustainability, circular economies and climate activism to my attention. By reading and learning about sustainability, we can gain a greater understanding of the challenges and opportunities that we face as a society. These books inspired me to do more and use my voice and I hope they will do the same for you.

Is there a book on sustainability that changed your view on the world? Tell me about it in the comments!

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