Dancing with the Tiger Dancing with the Tiger
Learning Sustainability Step by Natural Step


Brian Nattrass and Mary Altomare
Format: Hard Cover
Length: 320 pages
Publisher: New Society
ISBN: 086571455X
Copyright: 2002

Making social and ecological change happen is not easy. At both the planetary and organizational levels, it is a dance that is fraught with danger for both the change agents themselves and their organizations. It is like dancing with a tiger.

For corporations, communities and other organizations, the choreography of the dance toward sustainability has been systematized by The Natural Step: a framework that provides the science, analysis, methodologies and tools to use in the quest for sustainability. Dancing with the Tiger presents the stories of individuals, teams and organizations learning about change and sustainability, and then acting on that learning. Case studies include some of the most successful companies and communities in North America:

  • Nike – its struggles, victories and setbacks on the road to sustainability.
  • Starbucks – the tension of modeling corporate responsibility with alarming growth.
  • CH2Mhill – its gradual evolution from environmental to sustainability engineering.
  • Whistler – grappling with the paradox of sustainability in a high profile resort town.
  • As well as Home Depot, Norm Thomson Outfitters, the municipalities of Seattle and Santa Monica, and others.
Following on the success of The Natural Step for Business, this book takes a deeper look at the real business impacts of sustainability. It will be of special interest to business people, government officials, and students of business, organizational development and the environment.


Nattrass and Altomare have written a gem of a book. They make it clear that corporate sustainability is less about formal planning and more about choreographing the ‘dance’ of change; less about central control and more about personal conviction and commitment; less about technology and more about evolving a new organizational and societal story…. A must read for any manager serious about moving his or her company toward sustainability.”
-- Professor Stuart Hart, Director, Center for Sustainable Enterprise, Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

About the Authors

Brian Nattrass: lawyer, CEO, Chairman of Earth Day International, and author of a book on corporate finance. Mary Altomare: academic administrator at Yale and Duke universities, and consultant with the World Bank and US AID. Both are now practice leaders for The Natural Step in North America.

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