Introduction

Over the last couple of decades, climate change has moved from an issue that never made it into the corporate boardroom to one that, directly or indirectly, is now influencing many decisions of corporate strategy. But what is a credible corporate response to climate change?

There is, of course, no one model of how companies should respond; but in this chapter I present seven areas of action that are all crucial for any credible corporate strategy. I argue that there are many examples of companies undertaking good, sometimes groundbreaking, work in one or a number of the seven areas. And yet, unless a company's climate strategy addresses all seven areas, its response to climate change will be, at best, inadequate and, at worst, superficial. If the company is weak in just one area, it will inevitably be shaped by the transformational change that will occur this century, rather than help to shape it.

The first five of the seven themes will be familiar to any experienced professional working in corporate responsibility:

1 business operations;

2 products and services;

3 staff training and development;

4 communications;

5 knowledge management and reporting.

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