Corporate Responses to Climate Change
Achieving Emissions Reductions through Regulation, Self-regulation and Economic Incentives
Given the scale of the greenhouse gas emissions reductions that are seen as necessary to avert the worst effects of climate change, policy action is likely to result in a complete reshaping of the world economy. The consequences are not confined to 'obvious' sectors such as power generation, transport and heavy industry; virtually every company's activities, business models and strategies will need to be completely rethought. In addition, beyond their core business activities, companies have the potential to make important contributions to reducing greenhouse gas emissions through the allocation of capital, through innovation and the development of new technologies, and through their influence on the actions taken by governments on climate change.
Corporate Responses to Climate Change has been written at a crucial point in the climate change debate, with the issue now central to economic and energy policy in many countries. The book analyses current business practice and performance on climate change, in the light of the dramatic changes in the regulatory and policy environment over the last five years. More specifically, it examines how climate change-related policy development and implementation have influenced corporate performance, with the objective of using this information to consider how the next stage of climate change policy – regulation, incentives, voluntary initiatives – may be designed and implemented in a manner that delivers the real and substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions that will be required in a timely manner, while also addressing the inevitable dilemmas at the heart of climate change policy (e.g. how are concerns such as energy security to be squared with the need for drastic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions? Can economic growth be reconciled with greenhouse gas emissions? Can emissions reductions be delivered in an economically efficient manner?).
The book focuses primarily on two areas. First, how have companies actually responded to the emerging regulatory framework and the growing political and broader public interest in climate change? Have companies reduced their greenhouse gas emissions and by how much? Have companies already started to position themselves for the transition to a low-carbon economy? Does corporate self-regulation – unilateral commitments and collective voluntary approaches – represent an appropriate response to the threat presented by climate change? What are the barriers to further action? Second, the book examines what the key drivers for corporate action on climate change have been: regulation, stakeholder pressure, investor pressure. Which policy instruments have been effective, which have not, and why? How have company actions influenced the strength of these pressures?
Corporate Responses to Climate Change is a state-of-the-art analysis of corporate action on climate change and will be essential reading for businesses, policy-makers, academics, NGOs, investors and all those interested in how the business sector is and should be dealing with the most serious environmental threat faced by our planet.
This book ... is strongly recommended to those interested in the instruments of environmental policies, organizational responses to CC and corporate disclosure. The book initiates setting scores to benchmarking companies' disclosure on CC.
None of the chapters is particularly weak, and some are simply excellent. The table on page 120, "Factors that influence business responses to climate change", which is part of a chapter on the Mexican Greenhouse Gas Program is worth particularly close attention. The discussion of the motivations for corporations to engage in voluntary partnerships is most enlightening, and gives enough information to confirm any environmentalist's suspicions of corporations pursuing "regulatory capture" of the State ... anyone who wants a serious understanding of the factors that affect corporate responses to climate change, needs to read this volume, which has justly been praised by the great and the good of the world's climateriat. Read an interview with editor Rory Sullivan on the same blog: pendingecologicaldebacle.blogspot.com/2009/01/corporate-responses-interview-with-dr.html pendingecologicaldebacle.blogspot.com
Focusing on an area that is arguably central to the economic and energy policy in many countries, this title analyses current business practice and performance on climate change. A compilation of contributions by a number of environmental specialists, Corporate responses to climate change investigates public policy, non-state actors and their influence on corporate climate change performance and responses by corporations to the need for change. Essential reading for businesses, policymakers, academics, NGOs, investors and all those interested in how the business sector is and should be dealing with the most serious environmental threat faced by our planet.
This is a book you can read as either "the glass is half empty" or "the glass is half full" in the business response to climate change. In his opening essay, editor Rory Sullivan argues that climate change is the most serious environmental problem facing the planet. He surveys 125 British companies for their response. He finds that about a third of them have gone beyond the basics by committing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, supporting effective government action on climate, and other steps. But 21 companies "scored extremely poorly, suggesting that there may be significant weaknesses in the manner in which these companies are managing their greenhouse gas emissions." Sullivan says "Companies accept that they have responsibility for managing or reducing their GHG emissions and most have ... established the governance and policy frameworks and implementation mechanisms necessary for them to manage these emissions." At the same time, "Most companies do not see climate change as a risk to their business." Businesses are not trying to guide public policy, but are waiting to react to public policy as it emerges. www.colorado.edu/hazards/o/archives/2009/july_observerweb.pdf
This book is particularly important since it addresses the corporate sector, a major stakeholder in tackling the challenge of climate change. Indeed, it is largely through market-based responses that new technologies will be developed and their dissemination would take place to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases. The book appropriately addresses issues of public policy and their nexus with corporate responses, which makes this a useful volume not only for corporate leaders but policy-makers as well.
Captains of industry are the key to the solution of global warming. This book helps define rules that will help them to lead, rather than oppose, the actions that are needed.
The World Business Council for Sustainable Development is pleased to endorse this important new book. The companies in our membership are innovative and well managed partly because of their commitment to sustainable development. They are also the front-runners in understanding the business benefits derived from innovative energy and environmental approaches. This means they do not waste time on outdated notions: for example, that the economy will suffer massively by responding to the challenges climate change presents. To the contrary, the current financial crisis means that we must now develop business models for growth driven by a low-carbon economy. This new work is a valuable contribution to guiding us further in meeting that challenge.
The climate change problem demands an imaginative and analytical response – vision and data, conviction and calm rationality. The solutions are all around but moving them out into the mainstream of ordinary life is mighty hard. Many minds need to lend a hand. Many of those that you would want help from are represented in this book. Rory Sullivan has skilfully brought together opinion and understanding on what must be done. He knows what he is talking about – many years studying, evaluating and investing in climate change give him real authority. He knows that the lazy trade-offs between economy and environment or the easy critique of corporate polluters don't get you the settlement between powers that we need to enable human society to survive and prosper. I am full of admiration and gratitude to Rory and his fellow authors for getting their ideas down in written form and delighted to endorse the publication.
If you are a corporate executive searching for strategies to address climate change, this book is for you. If not, this book is still for you. Climate change represents a market shift that will alter virtually every sector of the economy. And, to deal with this shift, you need the sound information and analysis that is found within these pages. Its contents cover nearly every angle, from regulation to voluntary programmes; from NGO pressure to investor interests; from sector case studies to individual company strategies. This is a must for the desk of every corporate climate strategist.
For anyone wrestling with the challenge of working within or with business on climate change this book is full of insights: from the role of partnerships and voluntary initiatives; to examples of current best practice. We need more books on this topic.
Read this book to learn how private climate leadership companies and their government partners earn respect from stockholders and customers. Be amazed that industry is clamouring for stringent regulations that jump-start technical innovation and level the competitive playing field. Get motivated to transform markets for a world safe for future generations.
Part I: Introduction
Rory Sullivan, Insight Investment, UK
2. Corporate greenhouse gas emissions management: the state of play
Rory Sullivan, Rachel Crossley and Jennifer Kozak, Insight Investment, UK
Part II: Public policy: regulation, economic incentives and voluntary programmes
3. The effectiveness of climate change policy as an investment driver in the power sector
William Blyth, Chatham House and Oxford Energy Associates, UK, and Rory Sullivan, Insight Investment, UK
4. The influence of climate change regulation on corporate responses: the case of emissions trading
Ans Kolk and Jonatan Pinkse, University of Amsterdam Business School, The Netherlands
5. CDM and its development impact: the role and behaviour of the corporate sector in CDM projects in Indonesia
Takaaki Miyaguchi and Rajib Shaw, Kyoto University, Japan
6. Encouraging innovation through government challenge programmes: a case study of PV-based boats
Olga Fadeeva and Johannes Brezet, TU Delft and Cartesius Institute, The Netherlands, and Yoram Krozer, University of Twente and Cartesius Institute, The Netherlands
7. The role of voluntary industry–government partnerships in reducing greenhouse gas emissions: a case study of the USEPA Climate Leaders programme
Jeffrey Apigian, Clark University, USA
8. Ten years of the Australian Greenhouse Challenge: real or illusory benefits?
Rory Sullivan, Insight Investment, UK
9. The Mexico Greenhouse Gas Program: corporate responses to climate change initiatives in a ‘non-Annex I’ country
Leticia Ozawa-Meida, SEMARNAT, Mexico, Taryn Fransen, World Resources Institute, Mexico, and Rosa María Jiménez-Ambriz, CESPEDES, Mexico
Part III: Non-state actors and their influence on corporate climate change performance
10. The Climate Group: advancing climate change leadership
Jim Walker, The Climate Group, UK
11. Climate protection partnerships: activities and achievements
Oliver Salzmann, Ulrich Steger and Aileen Ionescu-Somers, IMD, Switzerland
12. The evolution of UK institutional investor interest in climate change
Rory Sullivan, Insight Investment, UK, and Stephanie Pfeifer, Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, UK
13. Reporting on climate change: the case of Lloyds TSB
Andrea B. Coulson, University of Strathclyde, UK
Part IV: Corporate responses and case studies
14. Curbing greenhouse gas emissions on a sectoral basis: the Cement Sustainability Initiative
Timo Busch, ETH Zurich, Switzerland, Howard Klee, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, Switzerland, and Volker H. Hoffmann, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
15. Novartis: demonstrating leadership through emissions reductions
Helen Mathews, University of Basel, Switzerland, and Claus-Heinrich Daub, University of Applied Sciences Northwestern, Switzerland
16. Climate change solutions at Vancity Credit Union
Ian Gill and Amanda Pitre-Hayes, Vancity, Canada
17. The Pole Position project: innovating energy-efficient pumps at Grundfos
Joan Thiesen and Arne Remmen, Aalborg University, Denmark
18. Responding to climate change: the role of organisational learning processes
Marlen Arnold, Technische Universität München, Germany
19. Fasten your seatbelts: European airline responses to climate change turbulence
Christian Engau, David Sprengel and Volker H. Hoffmann, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
Part V: Closing sections
20. From good to best practice on emissions management
Ryan Schuchard, Raj Sapru and Emma Stewart, Business for Social Responsibility, USA, and Rory Sullivan, Insight Investment, UK
21. Do voluntary approaches have a role to play in the response to climate change?
Rory Sullivan, Insight Investment, UK
22. Setting a future direction for climate change policy
Rory Sullivan, Insight Investment, UK
RORY SULLIVAN is a Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy at the University of Leeds.