Changing the Climate on Corporate Emissions

Researchers: Leanne Morrison

The aim of this project is to better understand the role of corporate climate change KPIs and targets in the wider context of global warming, and ultimately to contribute to better corporate approaches to climate change obligations. In responding to this aim, this report presents the results from 12 in-depth semi-structured interviews, and quantitative analysis of 36 companies’ climate change targets and outcomes are presented, along with an analysis of findings and policy recommendations. 

The study found that corporate approaches to climate change in Australia’s largest companies varies widely. The KPIs and targets set by each company similarly have varying results. Targets relating to the TCFD and 2015 Paris Agreement were found to be the most widely discussed targets during interviews, and are having the largest impact on the reduction of company-specific emissions. Recommendations of this report include the development of Federal policy guidance; the alignment of corporate emissions targets with Federal targets; standardisation of climate change reporting and the disclosure of internal targets and KPIs.  These recommendations will improve comparability and allow companies to better discharge their accountability towards stakeholders. Of these stakeholders, it was found that institutional investors wield the highest level of influence, however this role would be best filled by the Federal Government, which at present, provides inadequate guidance or pressure on corporate sector emissions and climate change policy.

This project is funded by CPA Australia as part of the Global Research Perspectives Program.

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Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business. - Artwork created by Louisa Bloomer

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.