For the past few years, and especially over the past few months, the bar for corporate sustainability leadership has been raised. While an increasing number of companies are setting targets to reduce their emissions and to protect the global commons (air, water, land, biodiversity and ocean), it is increasingly recognized that these voluntary commitments are not enough. Without ambitious public policy, the U.S. will have no chance of meeting its commitments under the Paris Agreement and keep the world on a 1.5-degree pathway.
WRI has been actively calling on companies to incorporate climate policy leadership into their sustainability strategies. This call has been further echoed by our NGO peers, investors, activists, students and even by companies themselves. However, as a proud “do-tank”, we were compelled to go beyond why companies should do this and what it looks like, to also tackle the how.
The business case for practicing corporate climate advocacy is strong, so why are we still seeing misalignment between companies’ sustainability and political engagement strategies?
A new WRI working paper provides an answer. We identify seven key barriers that companies must navigate to be strong and effective climate policy advocates.