Worldwatch Institute

State of the World 2012 may seem like an ominous and ambitious title for a book, but that’s fitting its purpose: to refocus the world on the 20th anniversary of the landmark Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, toward a sincere reversal of carbon-spewing behaviors, policies, and industries.

While all 227 pages of the book focus on that objective, Chapter 10, entitled “From Light Green to Sustainable Buildings,” by Karrin Taipale, a senior researcher at Center for Knowledge and Innovation Research of the Helsinki School of Economics, is especially poignant.

Taipale chastises the building sector for policies that are “inconsistent and undefined, and have yet to facilitate truly sustainable buildings,” and promotes policy “packages” that address what she deems the four essential aspects of the buildings—specifically process, performance, sustainable infrastructure, and use of resources.

“Sustainable building entails measurable targets such as net-zero energy, zero carbon, and zero waste,” she writes. She also offers a trio of tables within the chapter to help make her case, including one that exposes “Corruption in Construction.”

State of the World 2012 is available as a paperback or as a PDF for $21.95 from Worldwatch Institute. Learn more and order the book at