Stirring It Up: How to Make Money and Save the World by Gary
Today on our Monday's green books series,
I have the pleasure of introducing a new book written by one
of my role models in the field of green business: Gary Hirshberg,
CE-Yo of Stonyfield Farm.
Our book for today is:
Stirring It Up: How to Make Money and Save the World
Author: Gary Hirshberg
Gary Hirshberg is the Chairman, President and CEO (or CE-YO
as he calls it) of Stonyfield Farm, the leading manufacturer
of all-natural and organic yogurt in the US. For the past
25 years, Gary has overseen Stonyfield Farm's phenomenal growth,
from its infancy as a 7-cow organic farming school in 1983
to its current $330 million in annual sales.
In 2001, Stonyfield Farm entered into a partnership with
Groupe Danone, and in 2005, Gary was named Managing Director
of Stonyfield Europe, a joint venture between the two firms
with brands in Ireland, the UK and France with more in development.
In the early days of the company, Gary wore many hats - from
yogurt maker to bookkeeper. He even doubled as Director of
the Rural Education Center, the small organic farming school
from which Stonyfield was spawned. Prior to Stonyfield, Gary
served as the Executive Director of The New Alchemy Institute,
an ecological institute devoted to organic agriculture, aquaculture
and renewable energy systems.
Gary has won numerous awards for corporate and environmental
leadership such as the 1999 Global Green USA's Green Cross
Millennium Award, inspired by Mikhail S. Gorbachev, for Corporate
Environmental Leadership. Gary was named Business NH Magazine's
"Business Leader of the Year" and the U.S. Small
Business Administration's "NH's 1998 Small Business Person
of the Year ".
Published in: January 2008
What it is about: (from the
publisher's website): A true force for change, Gary Hirshberg
has been at the forefront of movements working for environmental
and social transformation for 30 years. From his early days
as an educator and activist to his current position as President
and CE-Yo of Stonyfield
Farm, the world’s largest organic yogurt company,
Hirshberg’s positive outlook has inspired thousands
of people to recognize their ability to make the world a better
In Stirring it Up, Hirshberg calls on individuals to realize
their power to effect change in the marketplace – “the
power of one” – while proving that environmental
commitment makes for a healthier planet and a healthier bottom
line. Drawing from his 25 years’ experience growing
Stonyfield Farm from a 7-cow start-up, as well as the examples
of like-minded companies, such as Newman’s Own, Patagonia,
Wal-Mart and Timberland, Hirshberg presents stunning evidence
that business not only can save the planet, but is able to
simultaneously deliver higher growth and superior profits
Hirshberg illustrates his points with practical information
and advice, as well as engaging anecdotes from what he calls
‘the bad old days’ of his yogurt company: how
a power outage left him milking cows by hand, how a dumpster
fire revealed the need for better packaging, and his camel
manure taste test challenge to a local shock jock.
He also describes hands-on grassroots marketing strategies
- printing yogurt lids with provocative, politically charged
messages, handing out thousands of free samples to subway
commuters to thank them for using public transit, and devising
the country’s first organic vending machine - explaining
how these approaches make a much more powerful impact on consumers
than traditional advertising.
Why you should get it:
1. Hirshberg is one of the best teachers to learn from about
almost every aspect of green business: vision, leadership,
marketing, entrepreneurship, how to successfully compete with
'regular' big companies operating in your field, and more.
One of these interesting lessons is the unique relationship
he established with Danone, which bought 80% of Stonyfield
Farm, to keep the Stonyfield's original green spirit. Even
though Danone own the Stonyfield, they left Hirshberg the
control of the board and he also maintains unique programs
like Stonyfield's Profits
for the Planet that gives 10% of company profits to organizations
"that help protect and restore the environment."
2. The book is eco-friendly - firstly, it is printed on 100%
post-consumer waste fiber (both text and jacket) and hence
saving 67 trees (way to go!), 28,769 gallons of water, 49
million BTUS, 3,209 pounds of solid waste and 6,322 pounds
of greenhouse gases.
Also, Through a partnership with Native
Energy, a privately held energy company, the estimated
global warming gas emissions resulting from the production
of the book and audio CD are being offset by an investment
in a manure digester at the Wanner Family Dairy Farm in Narvon,
3. This book is not only about green biz lessons, but also
a great story about Hirshberg's 25-year journey with Stonyfield.
What others say on the book:
"Gary Hirshberg has seen the future and it is green!
Read how he did it, and follow his every word!" (Laurie
"Gary Hirshberg is the real deal. He not only talks
sustainability, he does sustainability. Now, in Stirring It
Up, he shares with great clarity both his wisdom and his penchant
for action. Read and be stirred to take your own action."
(Ray C. Anderson, Founder and Chair, Interface, Inc.)
book review was originally posted on Eco-Libris blog.
It Up website
2. a list of online
sources where you can purchase the book
3. An interview that Joel Makower had with Gary Hirshberg
Eco-Libris green books page