Business and Climate Change: Canada, US, and a new International Coalition

Corporate Knights magazine released its 13th annual ranking of the best Corporate Citizens in Canada in June. Companies are ranked on 12 key performance indicators, including energy, carbon and water productivity, waste productivity, safety performance and employee turnover, and “clean capitalism pay link” (defined as: at least one senior executive’s compensation tied to clean capitalism-themed performance targets). A companion article, “The Sustainability Pay Link”, discusses the extent to which executive compensation is tied to ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) criteria, and the reasons why it is not as widespread as might be expected.

Also in June, U.S.- based Ceres released a 2014 edition of its ongoing series, Power Forward 2.0: How American Companies are Setting Clean Energy Targets and Capturing Greater Business Value. It reports that clean energy is becoming mainstream for U.S. corporations – with 60% of the Fortune 100 having goals for renewable energy or greenhouse gas reductions, resulting in a decrease in annual CO2 emissions of approximately 58.3 million metric tons. The report also chronicles the evolving business practices, financial tools, and policy developments, including case studies and profiles. For example, it includes a note about the compensation policy at Clorox, which awards its CEO a bonus for meeting corporate environmental goals.

In the lead-up to the U.N. Climate Summit in New York, a new coalition of business and climate organizations is being launched. The founding partners of “We Mean Business” are: BSR, the B Team, CDP, Ceres, The Climate Group, the Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group (CLG) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). Their mission statement says: “we are calling for national and international policies that will continue to scale-up clean energy and energy efficiency, unleash low carbon innovation and send the right price signals to drive investment in clean technologies”.


Corporate Knights’ Canada’s Best Corporate Citizens is at:, with details of the performance criteria at: “The Sustainability Pay Link” is at:

Power Forward 2.0: How American Companies are Setting Clean Energy Targets and Capturing Greater Business Value is at: (free registration required)

We Mean Business website is at:

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