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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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Achieving Emissions Reductions

More and more companies around the world are establishing GHG emission reduction plans, in response to price mechanisms and other incentives, to comply with emission reduction regulations, to enhance their reputation, differentiate their products, attract investors and respond to growing societal expectations in relation to climate change. There is, however, limited information on the aggregated impact of corporate actions to reduce emissions. A proactive business attitude towards climate change involves developing plans to manage emissions and establishing the necessary mechanisms and incentives to put those plans into practice throughout the company and its operations. When designed properly, emission reduction targets are an important element of such plans. Achieving these targets requires involving all company players, from the board to management levels and employees. This chapter discusses the key elements of emission reduction plans and reviews corporate experience to date in implementing them.

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