Corporate Strategies Workshop
"Getting Ahead of the Curve: Corporate Strategies That Address Climate Change" Corporate Strategies Workshop
October 18, 2006
At this workshop, over a hundred business, academic, and NGO leaders convened to discuss the findings of a new Pew Center report, Getting Ahead of the Curve: Corporate Strategies That Address Climate Change. View the agenda by clicking here.
The report, authored by Dr. Andrew Hoffman of the University of Michigan, lays out a step-by-step approach for companies to reshape their core business strategies in order to succeed in a marketplace where greenhouse gases (GHGs) are regulated and carbon-efficiency is in demand. A number of key themes surfaced from the report and workshop discussions:
- Timing needs to be strategic. Some companies acknowledge the dangers of starting too early on climate action, while others highlight the risks of starting too late.
- The ultimate goal is a game-changing strategy. Such a strategy allows a company to leap far ahead of competitiors by creating or reshaping key markets that they can dominate. This requires a concerted effort, combining key functional areas of a company, such as research and development, marketing, supply chain management and policy engagement.
- An appropriate level of commitment needs to be made. While the companies in this report are leaders in their industries, some caution against getting too far ahead of the competition.
- Companies need to influence policy. Any policy that regulates GHG emissions will constitute a major market shift, setting "new" rules of the game. Companies in the report feel they cannot leave the ultimate form of such regulations to chance and must earn a seat at the policy making table.
- Companies need to create business opportunities. Companies with a history of climate-related activity are shifting their strategies from a focus on risk management and bottom-line protection to instead emphasize business opportunities and top-line enhancements.
Corporate Strategies Workshop Agenda
Lunch Keynote Speaker
- John Ranieri, Vice President and General Manager of Bio-Based Materials -- Energy and Specialties, DuPont (pdf of presentation - 10MB).
Overview of report process, key findings, and future research
- Andy Hoffman (pdf), Holcim (US) Professor of Sustainable Enterprise, University of Michigan
- Truman Semans (pdf), Director for Markets and Business Strategy, Pew Center on Global Climate Change
- Representatives from Report Case Study Companies
- Randy Armstrong, Manager, Compliance Assurance, Shell Oil Company
- Eric Kuhn, Manager, Climate Change Programs, Duke Energy
- Ed Mongan, Director, Energy and Environment, DuPont
- Mark Way, Head, Sustainability Issue Management & Reporting Team, Swiss Re
Click here to view streaming video of a subsequent workshop on the Pew Center's Corporate Strategies report held November 10, 2006, at the University of Michigan, which featured a detailed question and answer period between conference attendees and case study company representatives.
Panel #1: McKinsey & Company
- Kenneth Ostrowski, Director of the Americas Electric Power and Natural Gas Practice, McKinsey & Company (Chair)
- Jon Creyts, Principal, McKinsey & Company
- Rick Duke, Engagement Manager, McKinsey & Company
- Per-Anders Enkvist, Associate Partner, McKinsey & Company
- Christoph Grobbel, Senior Practice Expert of the European Electric Power and Natural Gas Practice, McKinsey & Company
- Steve Mitnick, Senior Advisor, McKinsey & Company
The presentations from the McKinsey & Company panel discussion are confidential. Those interested in McKinsey's work on climate change should contact Sally Lindsay, Senior Practice Manager, McKinsey & Company (202-662-2201, or Sally_Lindsay@mckinsey.com).
Panel #2: Perspectives on Sustainability, Legal, and Communications Dimensions of Climate Change
- Chuck Bennett, Senior Research Associate, The Conference Board
- Ken Berlin, Attorney and Partner, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
- Bob Knott, Executive Vice President, Edelman