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What happens when a renowned river guide teams up with the CEO of one of the largest--and least Earth-friendly--corporations in the world? Nothing less than a green business revolution reveals Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and bestselling author Edward Humes in his arresting new book, FORCE OF NATURE: The Unlikely Story of Wal-Mart's Green Revolution. Humes, author of ECO BARONS, tells the inside story of the little-known and unlikely partnership between former Wal-Mart CEO H. Lee Scott and white water expert-turned Blu Skye sustainability consultant Jib Ellison, and their struggle to redefine what it means to be green in the world of big business. Their efforts transformed a small project initially intended to insulate Wal-Mart from environmental criticism into a massive sustainability makeover, which now has snowballed beyond the retailer to influence whole industries, from apparel to dairy to banking. Now their fresh take on sustainability is empowering a virtual second industrial revolution based on a simple truth: that the clean, green, efficient, less-wasteful, less polluting way of doing business can also be the most profitable way of doing business.
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Edward Humes is the author of eleven critically acclaimed non-fiction books, including the bestseller Mississippi Mud, the PEN Award-winning No Matter How Loud I Shout: A Year in the Life of Juvenile Court, and Eco Barons. He has received a Pulitzer Prize, a Casey Medal and numerous investigative reporting and writing awards, and is a regular contributor to Los Angeles and Sierra magazines. He lives in California.From Publishers Weekly:
Wal-Mart—the world's largest, arguably most powerful corporation—has long been plagued by terrible PR and a never-ending slew of lawsuits. Enter Jib Ellison, river guide turned corporate consultant, determined to convince executives that making a profit and building a sustainable business are not mutually exclusive and would, in fact, confer a powerful competitive advantage. Ellison has instituted a project at Wal-Mart called "The Index" that challenges suppliers to root out inefficiency and waste. Packaging has shrunk, saving millions of gallons of water, millions of pounds of cardboard, not to mention diesel fuel. Wal-Mart's sheer size, coupled with its lowest-pricing mission, means that producers are forced to take steps toward sustainability—and make natural, organic, and earth-friendly products widely available. Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Humes (Eco Barons) offers a stirring story of how ecologically responsible practices are increasingly benefiting the bottom line, and how as Wal-Mart goes global (and tries to lure back the more green-conscious consumer decamping for Target), the biggest retailer in the world is, slowly but surely, encouraging a change for the better. A fascinating, fair-minded look at the congruence between environmentalism and business, and the behemoth at the intersection. (May)
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