Carbon Footprinting and Pricing Under Climate Concerns
Journal of Marketing, forthcoming
Posted: 30 Jun 2019 Last revised: 19 May 2020
Date Written: May 19, 2020
This paper studies how organizations should design a product by choosing the carbon footprint and price in a market with climate concerns. The authors first show how the cost and demand effects of reducing the product carbon footprint determine the profit-maximizing design. Paradoxically, they find that stronger climate concerns may increase the overall, corporate carbon footprint, even if the product itself is greener. Next, the authors establish that offsetting carbon emissions can create a win-win outcome for the firm and climate if the cost of compensation is sufficiently low. Third, the authors show how regulation in the form of a cap-and-trade scheme or a carbon tax affects product design, firm profitability, and green technology adoption. Finally, the authors extend the analysis to a competitive scenario. Overall, these results help marketing professionals understand the subtle consequences of voicing climate concerns within an organization.
Keywords: Carbon footprint, carbon offsetting, climate impact, net-zero emissions, pricing
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