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The New Climate Metric: The Sustainable Corporation and Energy

46 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2012 Last revised: 28 Nov 2012

Steven Ferrey

Suffolk University Law School

Date Written: 2011


The globalization of commerce is manifest. The modern mission statement of many US corporations is to compete in global markets. In this article, first, we define what is “sustainable” in the modern corporate context. Like other new terms employed in recent government environmental regulations, such as “additionality” (see S. Ferrey, When 1 + 1 No Longer Equals 2: The New Math of Legal "Additionality" Controlling World and U.S. Global Warming Regulation, 10 MINN. J.L. SCI. & TECH. 591 (2009)), the reality may be in the "eye of the beholder" – or at least, the regulator. This article examines measurement of sustainable corporate behavior applied in different media, citing extensive examples from U.S. corporations.

In this second decade of the millennium, climate change has become a meta environmental metric, dominating how corporations assess their business plans and measure sustainability. There is exogenous environmental pressure on corporations regarding sustainability from two legal forces: First, recent legislation and regulation that either motivates or pressures corporate compliance; second, evolving common law litigation driving corporate decision making. This article examines both sources, highlighting actual corporate solutions as a template for transportation sustainability, energy applications, and distributed resources.

Suggested Citation

Ferrey, Steven, The New Climate Metric: The Sustainable Corporation and Energy (2011). Wake Forest Law Review, Vol. 46, p. 383, 2011; Suffolk University Law School Research Paper No. 12-44. Available at SSRN:

Steven Ferrey (Contact Author)

Suffolk University Law School ( email )

120 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02108-4977
United States

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