A proposed scholarly framework for measuring business responsibility to climate change in South Africa

Godwell Nhamo, René Swart


Businesses are engaging with climate change at various levels. Many have started integratingclimate change into their strategies with a view to addressing risks associated with globalwarming and climate change. With this in mind, this article focuses on how a scholarly frameworkcould be used to inform the measurement of business response to climate change inSouth Africa. Business response to climate change in South Africa has been evaluated mainlyusing voluntary benchmarks such as the Johannesburg Stock Exchange Socially ResponsibleIndex (JSE SRI) and the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP). It is argued in this article that suchbenchmarks set the bare minimum requirements on climate change criteria. To assess businessthinking around the subject under discussion, a proposed scholarly framework was circulatedto key climate change experts within corporate South Africa and comments invited. The preliminaryresponses have shown that corporate South Africa is highly sensitive to detailed andscholarly reporting on business response to climate issues as part of corporate social responsibility.In addition, bodies responsible for the reporting frameworks expressed concern over theproliferation of reporting requirements in South Africa and globally. The same views were alsoexpressed by some key respondents from industry.


Keywords: Climate change, Corporate responsibility, Scholarly framework, South Africa

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Issues In Social and Environmental Accounting (ISEA) - ISSN: 1978-0591