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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Reaching Out

The bulk of emissions is often produced outside the companies’ boundaries, through the supply chain and the use and disposal of products. To make a meaningful contribution to a low-carbon economy, companies therefore also need to act outside of their immediate boundaries and interact with others. This chapter looks at four areas in which companies reach out to others as part of their strategies to reduce emissions: 1) important multiplier effects can be gained from the spread of emission disclosure and reduction practices along the supply chain of companies; 2) because changes in consumers’ behaviour are essential for GHG reduction measures to succeed, companies increasingly include engagement with consumers in their climate strategies. Other areas of broader business engagement outside the company boundaries include 3) participation in policy-making processes and 4) contributing to the transfer of technologies and know-how.

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