Companies Find Proactive Strategies for Climate Change
21 June 2007 at 3:36 pm
Australian companies are finding innovative responses to climate change according to a new study by the University of Queensland Business School.
The study was carried out by university academic Associate Professor Andrew Griffiths and PhD student Nardia Haigh.
Dr Griffiths says that although most of the debate on climate change focused on the negative impacts of adaptation on economies, communities, and the environment – the private sector was proactively engaging with the issues.
The study found that companies were developing and integrating patterns of ‘small wins’ as a way to redefine seemingly intractable social problems so that they became manageable.
Dr Griffiths says the data resists assertions that one small win is unimportant – in fact, a series of small wins reveals a pattern that may attract others and deter opponents.
He says companies that look for ways to link issues and successful climate change initiatives are able to find innovative solutions with more cooperation across the organisation.
He says if this linking doesn’t happen, companies risk a series of small flops that may potentially lead to significant overall loss.
Nardia Haigh says the study found small teams working firstly on energy efficiency projects developed skills and capabilities that were then transferred to larger issues such as fleet management, facilities design and management, and the development of carbon accounting systems.
Haigh says wins in these areas were then extended to issues of supply chain management and then into broader concerns.
She says companies found the small wins strategy enabled them to build skills and capabilities of employees whilst addressing their personal concerns about sustainability issues.
As a result she says value is then built into the business via cost savings on carbon emissions.
The researchers say they expect the business taskforce on emissions trading report to stimulate further interest in these approaches and an increased desire to reduce carbon exposure from companies large and small.