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Carbon Trends for Business Strategy

Business leader opinions on how carbon will affect business strategy in coming months and years

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Green collar natural resources  conservation Excerpt from Harvard Business Online -- We don’t know precisely how climate change will alter the planet, but two things are certain: Its complex environmental impact will directly affect business, society, and ecosystems; and governments will seek to mitigate its effects with far-reaching regulations.

Companies have for the most part freely emitted carbon, but they will increasingly find that those emissions have a steep price, both monetary and social. As a result, businesses that continue to sit on the sidelines will be badly handicapped relative to those that are now devising strategies to reduce risk and find competitive advantage in a warming, carbon-constrained world.

In this month’s Forethought, Harvard Business Online invited leading thinkers from business and academia to help our readers address climate issues by framing strategy, strengthening security, shaping policy, protecting reputation, and engaging customers, employees, and markets. This special section provides a hard-nosed look at a tough new environment. There will be winners and losers. Companies that get their strategy right will find vast opportunities to both profit and create social good on a global scale.

Grist: A Strategic Approach to Climate
by Michael E. Porter and Forest L. Reinhardt

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to climate change. Each company’s approach will depend on its particular business and should mesh with its overall strategy. For every company, the approach must include initiatives to mitigate climate-related costs and risks in its value chain. Business leaders need to start treating carbon emissions as costly, because they are or soon will be, and companies need to assess and reduce their vulnerability to climate-related environmental and economic shocks. Every firm needs to get those basics right, as a matter of operational effectiveness.

Other topics include:

A strategic approach to climate
Risk: investing in global security
Forecast: a warmer world
Transparency: what shareholders demand
How disclosing emissions benefits companies
Regulation: If you're not at the table, you're on the menu
Reputation:When being green backfires
Accounting for Climate Change
Investors hunger for clean energy
Business to business leading change in Latin America
Leadershp and walking the talk
Place your bets on the future you want
SOURCE:
Harvard Business Review

Edited by Carolyn Allen
| carbon | strategic planning | reporting | op-ed |

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