Business strategies and the transition to low-carbon cities

Whiteman, Gail and de Vos, D. Rene and Chapin, F. Stuart and Yli-Pelkonen, Vesa and Niemela, Jari and Forbes, Bruce C. (2011) Business strategies and the transition to low-carbon cities. Business Strategy and the Environment, 20 (4). pp. 251-265. ISSN 0964-4733

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Cities are key drivers of global climate change, with the majority of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions being tied to urban life. Local actions to mitigate and adapt to climate change are essential for stabilization of the global climate and can also help to address other urban ecological problems such as pollution, decreasing biodiversity, etc. Companies are important urban actors in the development of low-carbon cities because they provide a multitude of goods and services to city populations and directly influence urban carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. This is a new area of research. While studies on corporate sustainability are numerous, there is little, if any, existing research that examines the role of companies in climate change adaptation and mitigation within specific urban areas. Urban ecologists also have not examined how corporate activity affects urban systems. Taking a multi-disciplinary systems approach, we present a conceptual model of the role of companies in managing urban interactions with the climate system. We also present empirical findings illustrating how one company ‘partners’ with the city of Rotterdam to test electric vehicles as a pilot project for urban climate adaptation and mitigation.

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Journal Article
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Business Strategy and the Environment
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02 Aug 2016 14:28
Last Modified:
22 Nov 2022 03:33