How do companies reduce their carbon footprint and how do they communicate these measures to stakeholders?

Elfriede Penz, Pia Polsa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


With regard to ecological sustainability, an aspect of corporate social responsibility (CSR), a shift in business practices towards a stakeholder orientation was observed. However, little research was done on the activities carried out with regard to these stakeholders and the drivers of these activities. Drawing from a resource-based view and stakeholder theory, the current research thus aimed to uncover activities undertaken by companies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and examine the ways they communicate these activities to stakeholders in an effort to establish relations with them. By means of 16 semi-structured interviews in 14 companies and using a flexible pattern-matching approach, the results identified contextual, conditional, and intervening conditions that define the basis for a carbon footprint and its quantification, and at the same time influence the actions taken by companies. The findings offer a contribution to ecological sustainability literature and practice by identifying five areas of carbon footprint actions including heating, building, travel, transportation, and green services and products; and by showing that companies direct different actions in these areas towards different stakeholders to build relations with them.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalJournal of Cleaner Production
Issue numberSeptember
Pages (from-to)1125-1138
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 01.06.2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • Resource based view
  • Stakeholder relations
  • Communication strategies
  • Carbon footprint reduction


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