Top five sustainability reads for Christmas

At our last ICAEW Sustainability Committee meeting we asked our members to come up with the most inspiring sustainability content that they've encountered recently. We encouraged them to submit content in all sorts of formats – images, videos, infographics, podcasts and books - and we'll be sharing them with you over the next few months so that you can be inspired too. So here, in the first of the series (just in time for the Christmas holidays) are our top five recommended reads.  

If you have a top read you'd like to recommend get in touch with the ICAEW Sustainability team 

Naomi Klein This Changes Everything This Changes Everything

Naomi Klein, Penguin (6 Mar. 2015)

Recommended by: Tim Morgan, Finance Director, Shared Interest

Why: As the title suggests, this book offers a comprehensive look at the scale of what needs to be done to avoid an existential threat to our planet and humankind.



Otto Scharmer Leading from the Emerging FutureLeading from the Emerging Future: From Ego-System to Eco-System Economies

Otto Scharmer and Katrin Kaufer, Berrett-Koehler Publishers (30 July 2013)

Recommended by: Steve Lang, Founding Director, InSpring

Why: If there’s one thing we need in the next decade and beyond, it’s a form of mindful leadership that prioritises listening over dictats, humility over ego, and collaboration over competition.

Arjun Appadurai Banking on WordsBanking on Words: The Failure of Language in the Age of Derivative Finance

Arjun Appadurai, University of Chicago Press; 1 edition (19 Nov. 2015)

Recommended by: Bruce Davis, Founder and Managing Director, Abundance Investment

Why: Appadurai looks at the financial crisis from an interesting angle: as a crisis of language. He proposes that these crises occur not because of the wrong financial products, but because of our inability to describe the products. In a nutshell, people didn't know what they were doing because they couldn't describe it.

Kate Raworth Doughnut EconomicsDoughnut Economics: Seven ways to think like a 21st century economist

Kate Raworth, Random House Business (6 April 2017)

Recommended by: Dara Latinwo, Organisation Transformation Consultant, Deloitte

Why: Too often, the best-selling economics books of today (think Thomas Piketty’s Capital) accurately diagnose the world’s problems and then abruptly conclude with some hastily scribbled recommendations, leaving the reader mired in misery and hopelessness. Doughnut Economics is different.

It’s entirely made up of brilliant solutions that impress and inspire in equal measure. An unbroken thread of hope runs throughout the book, uplifting in a way that very few other works in this genre do. A must read.


The Invention of Nature Andrea WulfThe Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's New World

Andrea Wulf, John Murray; 01 edition (24 Mar. 2016)

Recommended by: Richard Spencer, Head of Sustainability, ICAEW

Why: New York Times captures better than I can why this book is so compelling...

“Wulf does much to revive our appreciation of this ecological visionary through her lively, impressively researched account of his travels and exploits, reminding us of the lasting influence of his primary insight: that the Earth is a single, interconnected organism, one that can be catastrophically damaged by our own destructive actions.” – New York Times Sunday Book Review, 10 Best Books of 2015