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Ask Mr. Green
I'm not new to exhibiting, but I am trying to learn about sustainability. Can you recommend some books that will help me get up to speed?
I find your question uplifting, because you seem to want more than a quick fix. You can spend a lifetime learning about sustainability, or you can get down to business pretty quickly. Either way, here are some titles that will help you find your path.

Three Practical Guides
Simple Steps to Green Meetings and Events, by Amy Spatrisano and Nancy Zavada, is probably the first sustainability guide written for our industry. This easy-to-use tool will help event planners integrate sustainability into RFPs for everything from venues to accommodation, communications, and much more.

The Green Edge is, well, a shameless plug for my own book. Whereas Simple Steps targets event planners, The Green Edge speaks directly to exhibitors. Think of these books as complementary. The Green Edge will help you manage a Greener event program.

Cooler Smarter is the Union of Concerned Scientists' practical guide to low-carbon living. Well researched and clearly written, Cooler Smarter informs personal and business choices. You can apply many of the ideas to your events program.


Three Classics
Cradle to Cradle is William McDonough and Michael Braungart's groundbreaker about replacing today's cradle-to-grave paradigm with a new design and business philosophy. The authors show how thoughtful planning and design can actually feed, rather than deplete, our environment and economy.

The Triple Bottom Line, by Andrew W. Savitz with Karl Weber, uses case studies from Fortune 1000 companies to make the business case for creating social, environmental, and economic value. Green to Gold, by Daniel C. Esty and Andrew S. Winston, is a best-selling study of how companies are saving money and building value through robust sustainability initiatives. The authors use case studies to identify the key features of a successful Green strategy. This approach makes Green to Gold is a must read.


Three Inspired Perspectives
Our rapidly changing world – the hotter, flatter, more connected place we call home – is leading a few authors to rethink business in amazing ways.

The Big Pivot is Andrew S. Winston's step beyond Green to Gold. His latest book makes a compelling case that "...we must pivot – sometimes painfully, always purposefully – so that solving the world's biggest challenges profitably becomes the core pursuit of business."

Raising the Bar is the story of highly successful Clif Bar Inc. Written by co-founder Gary Erikson, with Lois Lorentzen, the book opens at the moment when the Clif Bar was being sold for a huge profit. In that moment, Erikson says his gut told him to send the buyers home. This delightful book explains why and what that means for life and business.

Switch: How to Change Things when Change is Hard, by Dan and Chip Heath, will help you overcome resistance to positive change. The reasoning is solid, and the case studies are refreshingly empowering.

No matter where you dive in – be it event management, global strategy or a challenging vision – you'll find a rich depth of literature that can help you create a Greener and more satisfying business world. Happy reading!





Tom Bowman chairs the Exhibit Designers and Producers Association's Sustainability Leadership Committee and is author of the critically acclaimed The Green Edge: How Sustainability Can Help Exhibit and Meeting Managers Save Money and Build Stronger Brands. Founder and owner of Bowman Design Group for over 25 years, Bowman works with Fortune 1000 companies and start-ups in a range of industries from technology to services to natural foods. He also provides green business strategy advice through his consulting firm, Bowman Change, Inc. Bowman has received numerous green business awards, including Cool California Small Business of the Year, the international Green Good Design Award and the Sustainable Business Council of Los Angeles's Best Public Advocate for Sustainability Award. Learn more at tom@bowmanglobalchange.com


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