The reading room

1st August 2023

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Six of the latest books on the environment and sustainability

The Adventure of Sustainable Performance: Beyond ESG Compliance to Leadership in the New Era

Stuart McLachlan, Dean Sanders

In a time of disruption, boundaries need revisiting, systems need reimagining and assets need repurposing through wise stewardship. The authors share their experience serving clients and driving performance as the world transitions to a net-zero carbon future. Through storytelling and interviews with international leaders in business and sustainability, and by anchoring practical advice with evidence and truth, this book helps leaders to see foundations upon which the new era will be built, and new systems of value that will be realised.

Gold Standard ESG and Sustainability: A Step-by-Step Guide to Producing Corporate Sustainability Reports – 3rd ed

Kye Gbangbola, Nicole Lawler

This practical and concise book provides a step-by-step guide to the reporting process in line with the latest reporting standards and frameworks presented by the International Integrated Reporting Council and the Global Reporting Initiative. It covers the key processes: planning, producing a business case, the development of action plans, process and team leadership, and generating cross-functional buy-in. Templates are provided for certain steps to simplify the tasks involved.

The Last Drop: Solving the World’s Water Crisis

Tim Smedley

Water scarcity is the next big climate crisis. Water stress – not just scarcity but also water-quality issues caused by pollution – is already driving the first waves of climate refugees. It’s clear that human mismanagement of water is dangerously unsustainable, for both ecological and human survival. And yet in recent years some key countries have been quietly and very successfully addressing water stress.

The author meets experts, victims, activists and pioneers to find out how we can mend the water table on which our survival depends.

Five Times Faster: Rethinking the Science, Economics, and Diplomacy of Climate Change

Simon Sharpe

As Greenland melts, Australia burns, and greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, we think we know who the villains are – oil companies, consumerism, weak political leaders. But what if the real blocks to progress are the ideas and institutions that are supposed to be helping us? In our fight to avoid dangerous climate change, science is pulling its punches, diplomacy is picking the wrong battles and economics has been fighting for the other side. This provocative book sets out how we should rethink our strategies and reorganise our efforts in the fields of science, economics and diplomacy, so that we can act quickly enough to stay safe.

Not Just for the Boys: Why We Need More Women in Science

Athene Donald

The book reflects on how, historically, society has excluded women from the scientific sphere and discourse, what progress has been made and how more is still needed. It explores societal expectations, using evidence of the systemic disadvantages women operate under, from the developing science of how our brains are – and, more importantly, aren’t – gendered, to social science evidence around attitudes towards girls and women doing science.

It also draws on the voices of leading women in science describing their feelings and experiences. It argues the moral and business case for greater diversity in modern research.

The Book of Wilding: A Practical Guide to Rewilding Big and Small

Isabella Tree, Charlie Burrell

The enormity of climate change and biodiversity loss can leave us feeling overwhelmed. How can an individual ever make a difference? The authors know first-hand how spectacularly nature can bounce back if you give it the chance.

This is an ambitious and pragmatic handbook on how we can all help restore nature. It is inspired by the requests they receive from people wanting to learn how to rewild everything from unprofitable farms, landed estates and rivers, to ponds, allotments, churchyards, urban parks, gardens, window boxes and public spaces.


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