Category Archives: Research

Prof Andy Hoffman on Climate Change and Green Business

Last month we were lucky to have Professor Andy Hoffman from the University of Michigan visit the University of Sydney Business School and present a number of talks on climate change and business responses. Andy is one of the world’s leading experts on business and climate change and has published extensively on this topic.

Above is a short interview on ABC’s Business Today program hosted by Whitney Fitzsimmons, where Andy discusses some of the business implications of climate change and related regulatory and market changes.

Measuring ‘Sustainability’

‘Sustainability’ has become a pervasive part of social and business discourse. However getting down to specifics on sustainability is a much debated issue.

This is of particular relevance for climate change. In particular, how can we speak of, or imagine ‘sustainability’, given the underlying conflict that emerges between the pursuit of ‘economic progress’ defined in terms of the production and consumption of goods and services, and the ever escalating production of greenhouse gas emissions.

Continue reading Measuring ‘Sustainability’

The Moment Of Realisation

Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/paulo2070/4206290259/sizes/o/in/photostream/
Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/paulo2070/4206290259/sizes/o/in/photostream/

One of the things I’ve noticed in researching organizational responses to climate change is how often in an interview the person I’m talking to (typically a sustainability manager or consultant) will relate a particular event or story which symbolized the moment ‘they got’ climate change.

In an article Daniel Nyberg and I recently wrote in Organization Studies, we explored how sustainability managers develop different identities in negotiating between conflicting discourses and their sense of self. In describing how these identities arise, moments of realisation played a key part in these personal narratives.

Continue reading The Moment Of Realisation

Why So Emotional? The Emotionologies of Climate Change

Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/danielito311/5847295876/
Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/danielito311/5847295876/

In a previous post I pondered the question ‘why we get so emotional about climate change?

I suggested a key reason was because the implications of climate change affect us in so many fundamental ways:

  • our personal identities and roles (mother, father, journalist, politician);
  • the stories we tell ourselves and others about who we are (where I’ve come from, where I am, who I want to be);
  • our world views and ideologies (e.g. social democrat, small ‘l’ liberal, conservative, free-market libertarian).

Continue reading Why So Emotional? The Emotionologies of Climate Change

What I’m Working On

This short piece profiling my research appeared in the Australian Financial Review BOSS magazine in February last year:
Image: Louise Kennerley
Image: Louise Kennerley

I’m leading a research project examining how Australian businesses are responding to climate change. We’re focusing on how corporations are changing in response to regulatory, reputational and physical risks. These adjustments include new products and services, the measurement and reduction of emissions, pricing of carbon risk in investments and developing green organisational cultures. These are fundamental shifts.

Continue reading What I’m Working On

Leading US Business Scholar to Discuss the Social Implications of Climate Change

professor_andy_hoffman_thumb

This month the University of Sydney Business School and the United States Studies Centre will be hosting a visit by leading US business scholar, Professor Andrew Hoffman.

Andrew is the Holcim (US) Professor of Sustainable Enterprise at the University of Michigan. Within this role, he 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.

Continue reading Leading US Business Scholar to Discuss the Social Implications of Climate Change

Climate Change: An Emotional Business

Climate change stirs strong emotions in our work and personal lives (Image: iStockPhoto)
Climate change stirs strong emotions in our work and personal lives (Image: iStockPhoto)

Ever wondered why climate change stirs such strong emotions?

Despite the daily reminders of the politically partisan sub-text of much climate change discussion, this issue hit me up front and personal about a year ago.

I was at a friend’s BBQ in suburban Sydney on a sunny Saturday afternoon, when an acquaintance casually asked what I was working on. Without giving it much thought I replied ‘how businesses respond to climate change’… Stunned silence…A look of bemusement crossed my inquisitor’s face before her partner waded in with the retort, ‘You don’t believe that crap do you?’

Continue reading Climate Change: An Emotional Business