In recognition of Earth Day 2012, I am proud to present a review of the book Latinnovating: Green American Jobs and the Latinos Creating Them. Latinnovating, by author Graciela Tiscareño-Sato, explores the lives, ambitions, and influences of ten Latino business owners who have dedicated their entrepreneurialism to maintaining green business ventures. Latinnovating is essentially a series of well-developed case studies of the ten entrepreneurs and uses their stories as inspiration for students and professionals alike. Published last year, Latinnovating has already earned many accolades and propelled Tiscareño-Sato as one of the top Latina sustainability leaders.
Sustainability has become a popular buzzword in business these days. It now seems that every major corporation releases an annual sustainability report to their stakeholders or participates in “green” initiatives. In addition, many in the design and innovation industry have embraced sustainability as significant part of their work. The impact of sustainable business practices in West Michigan came to my attention a few years ago when, as part of a class in my MBA studies, I had the opportunity to tour a Grand Rapids, Michigan manufacturer. The company is considered a local leader in environmental practices, touts a legacy of recycling and other sustainable systems, and produces environmentally friendly products for customers.
This experience inspired me to consider how Hispanic populations view sustainability. Are there Latino leaders within the sustainability movement? How have issues about the environment impacted Hispanics? Is there a correlation between “being Latino” and “being green”?