Transition to a Low-Carbon Economy

Public Goals and Corporate Practices

image of Transition to a Low-Carbon Economy
Companies are increasingly aware of the need to address climate change. However, while many companies are taking action to address climate change, many others are still lagging behind.  This report surveys responsible business practices addressing climate change and driving the shift to a low-carbon economy. It summarises policies, regulations and other instruments in support of a low carbon economy in OECD countries and emerging economies, and analyses corporate responses to these drivers.

Using the principles of responsible business conduct identified in the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, this report reviews three key areas of corporate action: accounting for greenhouse gas emissions; achieving emissions reductions; and engaging suppliers, consumers and other stakeholders.

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Accounting for Corporate Emissions

Increasingly, companies measure and disclose GHG emissions. They do so in response to the emerging body of regulatory requirements, growing awareness of the challenges and opportunities related to climate change and greater demand from financiers, investors and other stakeholders for disclosure of non-financial information. At present, however, there are no internationally-agreed standards for GHG emission reporting at company level. This leads to variations in methodologies, scope and boundaries of reported information, limits the comparability of corporate information, generates doubts on the quality and reliability of the information, and increases costs of GHG reporting for companies. This chapter reviews emerging practices in corporate accounting and reporting of GHG emissions; challenges in relation to the scope of information, measurement methodologies, reporting frameworks and verification; and identifies areas where governments can take further action to draw the full potential of GHG reporting by companies.

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