The CSR Newsletters are a freely-available resource generated as a dynamic complement to the textbook, Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility: Sustainable Value Creation.

To sign-up to receive the CSR Newsletters regularly during the fall and spring academic semesters, e-mail author David Chandler at

Friday, May 8, 2009

Strategic CSR - Emissions Reporting

The article in the first url below deals with the announcement by the Environmental Protection Agency in the U.S. that it will seek to make greenhouse gas emissions reporting mandatory for “a broad range of industries” in 2011 (reporting 2010 emissions):

“The proposal … would require about 13,000 factories, power plants and other facilities to report their emissions of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and other gases that climate scientists link to global warming.”

The proposal covers firms in industries such as cars, oil, and cement production, which, according to the EPA:

“… would account for 85 percent to 90 percent of the country's emissions of heat-trapping gases, although small manufacturers would be exempt.”

The logic behind the move is that there needs to be an accurate account of current emissions in order to establish an effective cap and trade market that avoids the large price fluctuations seen in Europe last year:

“The E.P.A. estimated that the cost to industry would be $160 million in the first year, then fall to $127 million a year.”

The article in the second url below indicates how compliance with such a rule would be more challenging for some firms than others. A study of the oil industry by PFC Energy (an “industry consultant”) evaluated emissions reporting by six major oil companies in terms of “the level of detail, frequency and coherency of emissions disclosures”:

“PFC, which based its rankings on publicly available data from corporate sustainability reports, annual reports and corporate websites, scored Shell at 1.15 out of 5 on its carbon disclosures. That compares with 3.05 for BP, 2.76 for Exxon, 2.64 for Conoco-Phillips, 2.4 for Chevron and 2.03 for Total.”

The article offers a few possible explanations for Shell’s relatively poor rating, but its findings of significant variance in firm performance indicate that firms that are best able to anticipate stakeholder needs are best placed to cope with an ever-changing business environment.

Have a good weekend.

Bill Werther & David Chandler
Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility
© Sage Publications, 2006

E.P.A. Proposes Tracking Industry Emissions
387 words
11 March 2009
The New York Times
Late Edition - Final

Emissions disclosure study puts Shell bottom of the big oil class
By Carola Hoyos in Vienna
410 words
16 March 2009
Financial Times
London Ed2