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Business strategies and the transition to low-carbon cities

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

  • Gail Whiteman
  • D. Rene de Vos
  • F. Stuart Chapin
  • Vesa Yli-Pelkonen
  • Jari Niemela
  • Bruce C. Forbes
Article number20
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>05/2011
<mark>Journal</mark>Business Strategy and the Environment
Issue number4
Number of pages15
Pages (from-to)251-265
Publication statusPublished
Early online date2/09/10
Original languageEnglish


Cities are key drivers of global climate change, with the majority of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions being tied to urban life. Local actions to mitigate and adapt to climate change are essential for stabilization of the global climate and can also help to address other urban ecological problems such as pollution, decreasing biodiversity, etc. Companies are important urban actors in the development of low-carbon cities because they provide a multitude of goods and services to city populations and directly influence urban carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. This is a new area of research. While studies on corporate sustainability are numerous, there is little, if any, existing research that examines the role of companies in climate change adaptation and mitigation within specific urban areas. Urban ecologists also have not examined how corporate activity affects urban systems. Taking a multi-disciplinary systems approach, we present a conceptual model of the role of companies in managing urban interactions with the climate system. We also present empirical findings illustrating how one company ‘partners’ with the city of Rotterdam to test electric vehicles as a pilot project for urban climate adaptation and mitigation.