Distinguishing hyperbole from action in corporate strategic responses to global climate change

Laura S. Tanzer, Mitchel P. McClaran

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

Abstract

There has been an advance in the social, political and corporate dialogue regarding global climate change (GCC) over the past twenty years. The question is: how much has the dialogue influenced corporate strategic action? Industry has learned to respond in a more positive manner to the socio-political dialogue concerning environmental issues, particularly global welfare issues. To distinguish increased dialogue from increased action, we examined 20 years of discussion in the utility industry's main trade journals, Utility Week and Electric Utility Week, looking for signs of strategic planning and action relating to GCC. We compare that dialogue to the types of strategic GCC activities taken by several randomly selected utility companies regarding GCC. Thus, if words are indeed turned into action, we would expect that there will be a positive correlation between reaching a critical mass in the journal discussion and greater strategic activity at the corporate level. If that is the case, it could be said that corporations are becoming more environmentally 'tuned-in' by incorporating socially important issues into their operations. They might also be said to be more politically positive regarding environmental issues, a change in strategy from the heretofore reactionary stance taken by most firms and industry associations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - Dec 1 2006
EventElectric Utilities Environmental Conference, EUEC 2005: 8th Annual Joint EPA, DOE, EEI, EPRI Conference on Air Quality, Global Climate Change and Renewable Energy - Tucson, AZ, United States
Duration: Jan 24 2005Jan 26 2005

Other

OtherElectric Utilities Environmental Conference, EUEC 2005: 8th Annual Joint EPA, DOE, EEI, EPRI Conference on Air Quality, Global Climate Change and Renewable Energy
CountryUnited States
CityTucson, AZ
Period1/24/051/26/05

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

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