Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
What's on the web
Article Type: What's on the web From: Strategic Direction, Volume 24, Issue 6.
The Global Environmental Management Initiative (GEMI) is a non-profit organization made up of leading companies dedicated to foster global environmental, health and safety (EHS) excellence. The site goes straight to the bottom line: “A company that ignores the signals of stakeholders because it does not share the same belief or degree of certainty about the direction and timing of climate change, may find itself at a competitive disadvantage.”
Assessing risk, formulating and implementing strategy and review process are all considered in some detail. There is also a very good section on developing a green house gas (GHG) inventory. This is an excellent jumping off point to consider the whole issue of climate change and business.
Getting it right
Many people in the media (and elsewhere) use the terms “climate change” and “global warming” interchangeably, as if they were the same thing. But there are differences between the meanings of the two terms. Getting a better handle on the definitions of and differences between “global warming” and “climate change” will help us understand why the threat caused by continued warming of the planet is so serious.
This is one of the many sensible pieces of advice on the (slightly old-fashioned) grinningplanet site. There are also some straightforward descriptions and explanation particularly of the likely consequences of global warming. There are some very good environmental blogs too, with some interesting arguments. Worth a look.
The Carbon Trust web site aims to explain the issues and opportunities surrounding climate change and carbon reduction, developing low carbon strategies that engage government and business. The site includes a (fairly simplistic) carbon footprint indicator and an “action plan tool” which you have to sign up for but which does give a number of useful tips on both reducing emissions and saving money. The case studies are worth reading too.
There are sections on developing low-carbon technologies, creating low-carbon enterprises and financing low-carbon businesses with some good information on grants and investment. If you are new to the debate or just starting to explore the issues around carbon trading and reduction then this site is a good place to start.
A detailed study by EGOS the association which aims to further the theoretical and/or empirical advancement of knowledge about organizations, organizing and the contexts in which organizations operate, has looked in more detail at the issues: “Business has both moral and commercial obligations to take the lead in the effort to combat climate change.” “Governments must do more to regulate corporations in a bid to avert the dangers posed by it.” “It is difficult to determine how much can be demanded from business, who would be best placed to demand such changes given the blurred lines between public and private domains … and whether business is actually capable of responding to such demands.”
There is some good stuff on this site and an interesting colloquium coming up entitled “Upsetting Organisations”.
In the interests of balance it seemed reasonable to research web sites that either denied or downplayed the importance of global warming. These are not so easy to find lately as a number of those funded by Exxon Mobil have recently become so discredited that they have ceased to publish.
So it came as a relief to find the superbly designed Scientific Alliance site with its well-argued and subdued tone no ranting about woolly-hatted hippies here.
The site lists five key principles with which most people would easily agree. It:
supports a rational and informed environmental debate;
supports the need for appropriate and targeted environmental protection;
believes that environmental policy must be based on scientific evidence;
will work to ensure that environmental policies are designed to achieve tangible and significant environmental benefits; and
aims to ensure that proposed environmental policy is based on actual environmental damage, not speculation.
However, we find out that Robert Durward owner of Scottish quarry and aggregates company helped set up the Alliance to “challenge many of the claims about global warming”. In 2004, the group “co-authored a report with the George C. Marshall Institute, a US body funded by Exxon Mobil, that attacked climate change claims”. Oh well.
The college idealists who fill the ranks of the environmental movement seem willing to do absolutely anything to save the biosphere, except take science courses and learn something about it (P.J. O’Rourke).
Going green is not some fashionable, pain-free option. It will place a responsibility on business. It will place a responsibility on all of us. That is the point (David Cameron).
If you think mitigated climate change is expensive, try unmitigated climate change (Dr Richard Gammon).