Climate Change: Business and Organisational Responses
Leader: Christopher Wright
Members: Rosemary Lyster, John Mikler, David Schlosberg
Climate change represents one of the greatest social, economic and political challenges facing humanity, requiring new forms of governance and leadership within the private and public realms. As key actors within our globalised economy, the modern business corporation is both a major contributor to our current path of unsustainable greenhouse gas emissions, as well as a key source of innovation necessary in transitioning to a low-emissions future. This symposium will explore how businesses as social actors have responded to climate change in different ways. This includes not only the development of new and more environmentally sustainable products and services, but also their role in policy debates surrounding energy and carbon emissions regulation. More generally, the symposium will consider the role of business as corporate citizens and the implications for social governance. The aim of the symposium is to highlight different corporate responses to climate change, and their interactions with other societal actors in mitigating and adapting to climate change. The symposium will feature contributions from influential academic writers in climate change, as well as insights from a range of business practitioners at the leading edge of corporate environmental sustainability. The objective of the symposium is to build an increasingly multidisciplinary discussion around the emerging business role in responding to climate change and to develop conversations which span the academic and practitioner worlds.
Sydney Ideas - The Social Sciences and Climate Change: Structuring the Sources of Distrust
When: 20 March 2013 18:00-19:30
Where: The Law School LT 101, Eastern Avenue, University of Sydney, Australia
Professor Andy Hoffman, Stephen M. Ross School of Business and School of Natural Resources & Environment, University of Michigan
Co-presented with the Sydney Business School and the Sydney Network on Climate Change and Society
The debate around climate change moves beyond carbon dioxide levels and climate models and is increasingly about values, culture, worldviews and ideology. Can the social sciences like psychology, sociology, anthropology and political science, offer a clear and concise framework for understanding why people reject the scientific consensus? While physical scientists explore the mechanics and implications of anthropogenic climate change, social scientists explore the cultural reasons why people support or reject their scientific conclusions.
Scientists do not hold the definitive final word in the public debate on this issue. There is a constituency beyond scientific experts, and the processes by which this constituency understands and assesses the science of climate change goes far beyond its technical merits and a simple assessment of scientific models. Beliefs about God, the role of government, trust in the market, the value of nature and faith in science are just some of the deeply held beliefs, worldviews and values that social scientists can examine.
Andy Hoffman is the Holcim (US) Professor of Sustainable Enterprise at the University of Michigan. Within this role, Andy also serves as Director of the Frederick A. and Barbara M. Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise.
Professor Hoffman has written extensively about corporate responses to climate change; how the interconnected networks of NGOs and corporations influence change processes; and the underlying cultural values that are engaged when these barriers are overcome. His research uses a sociological perspective to understand the cultural and institutional aspects of environmental issues for organizations. In particular, he focuses on the processes by which environmental issues both emerge and evolve as social, political and managerial issues.
He has published over a dozen books, which have been translated into five languages. His work has been covered in numerous media outlets, including the New York Times, Scientific American, Time, the Wall Street Journal and National Public Radio. He has served on research committees for the National Academies of Science, the Johnson Foundation, the Climate Group, the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development and the Environmental Defense Fund.
Climate Change: Business and Organisational Responses Symposium
Professor Wright overviews the Climate Change: Generating Business and Organisational Responses Symposium
When: 21 March 2013 8:30-17:00
Where: The Refectory, Holme Building, Science Road, University of Sydney, Australia
John Dryzek, Deliberative governance in the public and private sectors
Panel Discussion to wrap up the Climate Change: Business and Organisational Responses Symposium