Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire

PublicAffairs. Apr. 2020. 336p. ISBN 9781541730151. $28. BUS
Because a degraded planet and impoverished populace will be bad for profits, Henderson (business, Harvard Univ.) strategizes how business will be part of the solution. She tells of a waste company that profited by selling valuable metals harvested from recycling and how Walmart saved a fortune by increasing the energy efficiency of its truck fleet. While such innovations may hurt short-term profits, she says they can mitigate future risks, citing what happened with Nike when it ignored its supply chain until it became synonymous with child labor. Henderson explores innovative practices that enhance customer relations, create engaged workforces, and promote long-term thinking in tackling environmental and social ills. To ensure businesses can act effectively, she explains, there is also need for supportive financial markets and governments.
VERDICT Henderson’s convincing arguments and passion will be a clarion call to action for business leaders and interested readers everywhere. A complementary work is microfinance champion Muhammad Yunus’s A World of Three Zeros, while Christopher Leonard’s Kochland offers a contrasting portrayal of the Koch Industries’ single-minded resistance to any such ideas.

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