Natural Capitalism

 Top 10 book

The whole book is available for (free) download at the site above.

That's one of the things I love about it!


Some of my notes are below. The book was a great inspiration to me and is one of my favorites. These notes are from a long way back, when I first read the book and was using Dragon Naturally Speaking, so there are a lot of typos, riddled throughout. Although I'm fixing them as I come across them, it's not exactly a priority... Please note that some of these typos may entirely change the meaning of certain passages and make others incomprehensible. If it makes you feel better, you can think of it as a code :)


Page 220:
houses and commercial buildings, including the outdoor uses, account for 12% of America's fresh water withdrawals.  The typical US single-family home uses about 70 gallons per person per day indoors.  This would fall to about 52 with minimal improvements, or to 40 (of which 20 can be returned as gray water reusable for watering outdoor plants) by introducing a more efficient toilet, clothes washer, dishwasher, shower heads, and bathroom faucets, plus gray water toilet flushing.  Even more impressive improvements are now becoming available in every one of the following fixtures and appliances.
Tags: H2O use, grass Commons, at too early adopters, energy Star, water
they work well, have a lower installed cost than water guzzling urinals, and save about 40 to 60,000 gallons per unit per year.
Tag impact
good note example --SEA

page 222:
soap works better in these machines because it's more chemically concentrated.
Tag: cross market, especially for early adopters: EcoVert, etc., washing machines, high efficiency, he

page 223 other indoor and system savings.  Old, neglected pipes tend to leak.  Even good urban distribution systems lose (percent) of their water; the average US city, about a quarter; Bombay, one third; Manila, over half.  During fiscal year 1991-1992 alone, New York City put 26 people to work and $1.5 million to work in a survey of more than 90% of the city's 57,000 miles of water mains.

Tag: enabling innovations/engineering, factoid, water, infrastructure
*most leveraged impact: areas of most drastic need.  Consequently, Manila, etc. equals largest opportunity.

Page 223 note 64
Ian Michaels New York City Department of Environmental Protection
room 2454
municipal building
1 Center St
New York, NY 10007

1.5 million, 26 people --> 49,000,000 gallons a day saved

"shrink losses --> make supply expansions unnecessary"

TAG system: map to change agents, early adopters, etc. (see page 227 NC)
veins of tags: NC xv (companies) xvii (individuals/leaders in the field)

questions for NatCap: 228, 229

Paul Hawken
natural capital Institute
P.O. Box 2938
Sausalito, CA 94966
info at natural

Amory B Lovins
L Hunter Lovins
Rocky Mountain Institute
1739 Snowmass Creek Road
Snowmass, CO 81654


CISI Corporation
2722 walnut Avenue
Tustin, CA 92780


water Management Inc.
117 Clarmont
Alexandria, VA 22304

Page 194
this loss continues regardless of the technological inputs that have been applied to alleviate it.
three quarters of the world's food comes from only seven crop species -- wheat, rice, corn, potatoes, barley, cassava (manioc), and sorghum. Nearly half the world's calorie and protein intake comes from only the first three of these crops.

Page 195
farmers, having no safety margin for experimentation, are conservative about trying new products or techniques.


This is representative of a social primer opportunity. By virtue of collective purchasing an investment farmers could pool
resources and Resources from a broader community of investors interested in similar solutions.  This would open opportunities for farmers and the population at large that otherwise would be unlikely to occur under typical market circumstances.

More from page 195 in support of this concept:
only the increasing need to farm in such diverse and marginal conditions as dry regions may create pressure to diversify into such promising crops is that the neglected major grains (quinoa, amaranth, triticale, millet & buckwheat) and beans (winged, rice, fava, and adzuki). These are only the beginning: sub-Saharan Africa alone contains over 100 and such and grains and more than 2000 forgotten crops; only a handful are receiving significant research. This is an example of a tangential social primer opportunity to fund additional research.
disease already damages or destroys 13% of the world's crops, and weeds 12%... of the world's harvest is lost in the fields, and after some more spoils, nearly half never reaches of the human mouth.


A combination of the Tags illuminate the social primer opportunities in the previous selection.

Page 197 plaintiff list equals allies.

Page 198 footnotes 36 and 37

these are both encouraged by community supported agriculture -- and application of the third principle, whereby customers subscribe in advance to a particular farms or cooperatives flow of food, typically organically grown.
This is a social primer and grass Commons opportunity.

many do-it-yourselfers have built a fact of solar hot air dryers for fruits and vegetables, grains, herbs, and even lumber.  But since crops
are mostly water and often perishable, it may make more sense to bring solar dryer directly to the fields.  In the 1980s, Marcello Cabus, the Hispanic entrepreneur in Delta, Colorado, developed a semitrailer that unfolded into a complete fruit and vegetable processing and drying plant. He drove it to any farm that had a distressed crop -- perhaps right away...that couldn't be gotten to market quite in time or couldn't command the desired price.  The crop would be washed, peeled, sliced, and given any other necessary preparation.  Spread on shallow racks and dazed and solar heated rising air, the producer tried to an exceptional quality.
Backpackers, snackers, families who want to store food at home for emergencies, and people allergic to common sulfur based preservatives -- solar air dried food needs none -- would pay high prices for such quality produce.  And in countries like Korea, challenge to preserve nursing food for the harsh winters, the method could greatly improve both farm income and public health.

Page 199 the same invaders that save energy and houses can often be applied to livestock barns, too.  Physical principles are the same; the only architecture and the occupants to her.  Lighting chicken houses with compact fluorescent lamps instead of incandescents can increase a North Carolina chicken farmers income by one fourth.

Also related to the mana mushrooms opportunity: from page 201 the most basic way to close loops is to reuse the wastes produced both on the farm and downstream in the food processing industries.  A typical Nebraska harvest season results and accumulation of distressed grain -- damp or otherwise below grade.

More content from natural capitalism page 206: as mentioned earlier, under conventional practice, livestock converts from 2.2 to more than 20 pounds of grain into just 1 pound of meat.  These averages seven but can reach the least efficient end of that range in the latter stages of grain finishing, while fish, poultry and pork are at or near the most efficient end.

from page 207:
the Western European herd consumes two thirds of Europe's grain crop, and that continent imports over 40% of its feed grain from developing countries, which need grain for human food.  More grain nutrients are consumed by American livestock than by Americans or by people in other countries.  If the rich countries are placed part of their feedlot beef consumption with a range beef and lamb, white meats, aquaculture, marine fish, or vegetable proteins, then Central and South America might feel less pressure to convert rain forest to pasture.  Many developing countries could free up arable land.  There could be less displacement of the rural were on to marginal land, less soil erosion, and renewed emphasis on traditional food crops rather than on export cash crops.

From page 209:
the organic practices economic advantage has been demonstrated in large commercial operations over a wide range of crops, climates, and soil types.  That advantage tends to increase at family farms scale, which brings further social benefits. See previous notes on social primer opportunity related to grass Commons.
Also from page 209:
intensive many farming, for example, is a newer technique that combines for common sense gardening principles: deep cultivation to aid root growth, compost crops, closely spaced plants and wide beds optimize microclimates, and interplanting of mixed species to foil pasts. Standard US agricultural practice today requires at least 45,000 ft.² of land to feed a person on a high meat diet, or about 10,000 for a vegetarian. However, intensive gardening can provide for vegetarians entire diet, plus the compost crops needed to sustain the system indefinitely, on only 2000 to 4000 ft.², even starting with low-quality land.  Compared with conventional farming, water used per unit of food produced decreases by up to 88%.  All farm energy inputs are reduced by up to 99%, land per unit of
food produced by 60 to 80%, and land per dollar of net farm income by half.

The following is a hybridized opportunity between social primer and the land Institute as well as Janine Benyus's organization, the Biomimicry Institute.
page 211:
research is revealing an even more far-reaching potential for what geneticists Wes Jackson, Janine Bennis, and others call natural systems agriculture. TA him this approach is based on the endurance, efficiency, and self-reliance of wildness.
He further explained on page 212:
they believe that, in the Great Plains of North America, it may be feasible to replace annual monocultures with perennial polycultures to
form a diverse ecosystem that looks rather like native prairie, is closely modeled on it, doesn't erode(prairie soaks a plane eight times as well as a wheat field does), builds topsoil(a prairie contains about as much living matter per acre as a forest, mostly underground), and requires virtually no inputs. This combined with the following paragraphs details and insurance subsidies could provide an interesting social primer opportunity.

From page 214: this is an example of Sherman's foundation -
moreover, America's 80,000 dams and reservoirs were not entirely benign: during the boom years of water capturing projects, the United States lost over 60% of its inland wetlands, polluted half its stream miles, and lost her badly degraded many major fish runs.
Social primer opportunity here: so,REIT-style, Las Gaviotas-style projects, designed to increase land value, some apportioned for
profit-taking, others strictly reserved??

From page 127 of natural capitalism by Paul Hawken Avery Lovett's Al.
Hunter Lovett's subtitle creating the next Industrial Revolution

continued from page 225 aqueous solutions
success stories from industry this from natural capitalism quotes the graph on page 217 likewise illustrates the dramatic water savings that have been achieved by American industry.  These have often included reductions in pollutant discharges to.  In 1995 nonagricultural business withdrew 38% less water than in 1970, while producing 69% more real output, which represents a 63%
reduction in water intensity. 

footnote number 79
quick reference
US models and early 1998 included Maytag & Neptune Brands

Notes from natural capitalism first full paragraph
a further key...
quote the US medal -- casting industry (40 footnote) has only a 55% average yield; 40 of its castings are defective and must be
melted down and recast.  Nearly half the equipment, labor, and melting energy is thus wasted.  However, available innovations could probably push yields to ED to 90%, nearly doubling the industry's output per unit of capital, labor, and energy cutting its waste of materials by two to four full. (41 footnote)

only 1% of the total North American materials flow and the update, and is still being used within six months after their sale.  From page
page 83
first subset paragraph e-mail KLD

but Michael and Judy Corbett began the village homes at Davis California, in the 1970s, there is no housing development like it.

page 53 - TAGS
in the United States, in 1996, a year when the stock market hit new highs, the Fordham University quote index of social health "did not.  The index, which tracks problems like CHILD abuse, teen suicide, drug abuse , high school dropout rates, child poverty, the gap between rich and poor, infant mortality, unemployment, crime, and elder abuse in poverty, had fallen 44% below its 1973 asked to value the footnote -- 16

from page 54: opportunities:
quote the irony of urban America is that 50 years after World War II, parts of Detroit, Philadelphia, and do work look as if they were bombed, while Dresden, London, and Berlin are livable and bustling.

From page 96 e-mail prompts to Josh paragraph and a coffee maker. Dramatic improvements can also be made in the building shall our envelope that separates people from weather.  Improved insulation and hear tightness are important factors, but the key innovation in this area is quote super Windows unquote.

from page 97 smaller buildings can use photovoltaics that produce alternating current, the power that comes from a wall outlet of higher quality and with no pollution.  Such PC -- out photovoltaics functioned like any plug in appliance, except that when you plug them in and shine some light on them, they put electricity back into the building rather than drawing from it -- say, 250 Pequots from a 4 x 6-foot panel.  This innovation makes on the site solar power convenient and increasingly affordable for unsophisticated users, for renters who prefer to take their solar units with them when they move, and for the 2 billion people who still lack electricity.

From page 116 tunneling through the cost barrier:
motors used 3/5 of the world's electricity.  Their largest use, at least the fifth of their total output, is pumping.  Almost every factory or
major building is full of huge pumps, often running around the clock.

From page 117
only part of the system -- the pipes -- against only one parameter -- pumping energy.  Schilham, in contrast, optimized the whole system for multiple benefits -- pumping energy expended plus capital cost saved... you can actually make a system less efficient while making each of its parts more efficient, simply by not properly linking up those components.  If they're not designed to work with one another, they'll tend you Q.??...sample work against one another.

page 127
removing inefficiencies like these through whole system engineering of the firm is the next great frontier of business redesign.

Value that flows continuously in the pull of the cost of their -- that is, requests it -- is the opposite of "batch-and-queue" thinking, which mass produces large inventories advanced based on forecast demand.

Page 128 see e-mail queue to Gabe
Honda hybrid - soft order municipal fleets concept...

from page 129
...muda tends to amplify itself, because excessive scale or speed at any stage of production turns the smooth flow of materials into turbulent eddies and undertows that suck down earnings and submerge whole industries.
buying the world's fastest canning machine to achieve the world's slowest fill cost per can presumably looks like an efficient strategy to the canner.  But it doesn't create customer value at least cost, because of such expenses as indirect labor, (in such forms as technical support), the inventories throughout the value chain, and pervasive costs and losses of handling, transport, and storage between all the elephantine parts of the production process.