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Business in climate or climate in business?

Joel Sepúlveda (School of Engineering, University of the Basque Country, Gasteiz, Nives Cano, Spain)
Maddalen Mendizabal (Environmental Research Unit, TECNALIA, Derio, Spain)

Management of Environmental Quality

ISSN: 1477-7835

Article publication date: 9 August 2011




The aim of this paper is to present a new methodological approach to help companies improve their decision-taking capacity regarding corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the context of climate change (CC).


The study was conducted by combining a wide variety of sources including articles and research reports. Taking into account the complexity of adapting in a context of climate change, the paper developed a simplified conceptual model that integrates multi-criteria analysis. A vulnerability matrix was generated as a combination of adaptive capacity, exposure and sensitivity and how to measure the magnitude, persistence, uncertainty, temporality, degree of importance in combination with the impacts.


The first results reveal that activities related to water resources or natural ecosystems are more important than those related to energy or tourism sectors, and that there is a relationship between opportunities and adaptation needs.

Practical implications

The paper documents the inverse relationship between adaptation measures and opportunities in a study that may be a starting-point for further research into empirical observations of sector vulnerability and the impact and integration of the factor of resilience.


The paper provides a common language to use in the business world for concepts related to climate change. It provides a methodological approach for finding solutions to the problem of resource optimisation in companies and helps to find new business opportunities for sectors.



Sepúlveda, J. and Mendizabal, M. (2011), "Business in climate or climate in business?", Management of Environmental Quality, Vol. 22 No. 5, pp. 632-651.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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