The Climate Change Guide

Corporate Canada: Responsible Business Action on Climate Change

The Canadian Business for Social Responsibility (CBSR) launched an excellent new Guide to Climate Change at its Annual Summit in November, 2007. CBSR President & CEO, Adine Mees launched the Guide during the opening of the Summit and explained that it was the first of its kind in Canada in "delivering a functional tool and first step for corporations considering the wider implications of carbon management impacts and solutions.

The Guide offers balanced information to assist corporate practitioners in addressing key areas such as communications, employee engagement, reporting, risk assessment, investment in renewables, quantifying GHGs, offsetting and supply-chain management. In addition, The Climate Change Guide contains distilled results from interviews with 13 Canadian executive corporate representatives, who share their views on the present and future of climate mitigation from a business perspective.

The Guide was in production for nine months following extensive research by Karen Hamberg, a secondee from CBSR member company Westport Innovations Inc. According to Karen, "This is a unique Canadian-focused resource that fills an urgent need. For every leading organization we spoke to, we suspect there are many more companies looking for help integrating climate into their business strategy and operations."

The Guide is laid out in five sections.

Section One: The Challenge of Climate Change outlines the scope of the issue and the scale of change required to prevent serious environmental, economic and social consequences. A comprehensive listing of the financial, regulatory, physical, litigation, reputational and competitive risks as well as the range of potential business opportunities is also provided.

Section Two: Canadian Climate Change Developments, highlights the current state of regulatory developments and the broader issue of climate change in a Canadian context.

Section Three: The Business of Climate Change, details the required steps to develop a comprehensive climate change program and is divided into three subsections. These are sup­plemented with examples of leading practices from the 13 companies interviewed as part of this research. The three subsections include:

  • Determining Impacts and Implications, includes quantifying Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, assessing risks and climate adaptation approaches.
  • Developing a Climate Change Action Plan, addresses formulating a climate commitment and strategy, establishing goals and targets and evaluating carbon management alternatives.
  • Securing Buy-in and Communicating Progress, discusses how to engage with stakeholders and communicate / report climate strategy.

Section Four: Offsetting and Carbon Neutrality, responds to the recent growth of the voluntary carbon offset market and claims of carbon neutrality by providing an overview of these trends.

Section Five: Tools and Resources, provides a comprehensive "help list" including carbon calculators, abbreviations, acronyms and, a glossary of terms.

The Guide is available here

Source: Canadian Business for Social Responsibility (CBSR) .

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