Drawdown’s Paul Hawken speaks Tuesday at Carter Center

Paul Hawken. Photo by David Hodge

Green business guru Paul Hawken comes to Atlanta Tuesday to discuss the new book Drawdown and the climate change project he’s leading to implement the book’s grand ideas.

Drawdown bills itself as “the world’s most comprehensive plan to reverse global warming.” Over nearly four years, Hawken led a team of researchers and writers who assembled data on the 100 “most substantive” potential climate solutions. Their aim: to change the way climate change is being tackled by emphasizing the affordability and feasibility of data-driven business-oriented solutions.

The research yielded a mix of both familiar and obscure ideas — nearly half of which relate to the built environment. For example, the top-ranked solution turns out to be “refrigerant management.” Number 2 is “onshore wind turbines.”

We wrote about Drawdown last month, when one of the book’s co-authors — Atlanta writer Katharine Wilkinson — spoke about it at the Sustainable Atlanta Roundtable. Now that the book is out, it’s drawing quite a bit of attention, and Hawken’s appearance in Atlanta — his first since publication outside the West Coast — is bound to draw more attention.

Greenbiz.com founder Paul Makower hailed the project this week in a lengthy article. “At minimum,” Makower writes. “‘Drawdown’ is likely the most hopeful thing you’ll ever read about our ability to take on global warming.”

Atlanta carpet manufacturer Interface, which has helped to fund the Drawdown Project and also is mentioned in the book, issued a press release this week highlighting its involvement:

Interface is recognized for its recycled materials programs that reduce carbon emissions by avoiding the impacts of virgin raw materials. Specifically, Hawken highlights Interface’s Net-Works™ program in partnership with the Zoological Society of London. Net-Works supports the collection of discarded fishing nets that are brought back as recycled content for nylon used in Interface’s carpet tiles. Hawken also references Interface’s ReEntry™ program, in which Interface reclaims used carpet tile to recycle the face cloth and reuse the backing in new modular carpet and other products.

It was The Ecology of Commerce, an earlier Hawken book, that the late Interface chairman Ray Anderson credited for spurring his epiphany to remake the company and commit to zero waste and carbon emissions. Last summer, the company pushed further along the path set by Anderson when it adopted a new campaign “challenging the business to build a map toward creating a climate fit for life.”

Hawken speaks 7 p.m., Tuesday, April 25, at the Carter Center. The event is free. For more information, click here.

Featured image above by David Hodge, courtesy of the Drawdown Project.

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