Carbon Strategies and Management Practices in an Uncertain Carbonomic Environment – Lessons Learned from the Coal-Face
Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol 96, pp. 397-406, Forthcoming
Posted: 21 Apr 2015
Date Written: June 1, 2015
For many businesses, carbon strategies are undertaken within a backdrop of an uncertain national carbon policy. Such was the case in Australia with the major political parties having radically different policies as to tackle the issue of climate change. However, despite such uncertainty, forward-thinking early movers have incorporated carbon awareness into their business decisions. This research investigates the carbon strategies and carbon management practices that were adopted by two firms operating at different levels of the Australian national energy market – one operates in energy transmission and distribution, and the other is an energy generator and retailer. The metaphor of ‘the coal-face’ is used to analogise the business practitioners from the studied firms who understand and are directly involved in day-to-day practices to handle carbon emissions issues in their organisations. The research findings highlight that while operating in the same industry, the firms employ different carbon strategies and carbon management practices to manage their compliance liabilities. Applying the lens of contingent resource-based view, the factors that explain their different carbon practices include the extent of carbon exposures, the sector-specific regulatory setting and the in-house capabilities to deal with carbon issues. In addition, this study synthesises a general template of corporate carbon management framework, based on the real practices of studied firms, to provide practical guidelines for effectively developing carbon management strategies in an uncertain environment.
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