Mainstream thinking is moving forward. The short book “Climate Change – What’s your business strategy” is something that I hope all CEOs will read this summer.
The three steps they propose are straight forward even if number two will make most realise how far they are from serious climate work and the the last probably will provoke a discussion in more conservative business circles.
1. Know your Carbon Exposure
This is the obvious first step and not that hard, even if few companies actually understand much beyond their direct emissions and have little understanding of the situation in their supply chain.
2. Take action to reduce your carbon footprint and assess business opportunities.
This is a significant step forward compared with most initiatives. Even if the book is pretty weak regarding low-carbon products and services (the book is VERY short so I should not really complain). For more information about these areas please see the following project/report/draft:
Project: Winners in a low carbon economy
Report: First global low carbon IT strategy
Draft: Becoming carbon positive – the case of a retailer (will soon the posted)
I also hope to post result from our joint work with CII (Confederation of Indian Industries) with the working name “Sustainability as a driver for profit and innovation”.
3. Influence the policy development
This is probably one of the most controversial and where companies still are doing a very bad job, probably linked to the fact that few have any ideas and strategies for increased sales of low-carbon products and services. Almost all lobbying is to protect the old ways of doing business. Pushing for a low carbon future is still mainly done as a PR exercise and done through business associations without and serious follow-up. Together with Simon Mingay at Gartner I’m working on a report about the leading IT companies in the world that will discuss this.
All in all this book is a step in the right direction and if this could turn into mainstream the work I do would be easier as it would not be so far ahead. If nothing else because it makes it very clear that CEOs needs to be engaged and that the people that deal with environmental issues in companies are not the right people for this issue...