Research Handbooks in Business and Management series
Edited by Paula Kyrö
Chapter 8: Cooking up solutions for climate change: the role of sustainable entrepreneurs
The evidence that human activity is accelerating climate change has given birth to a whole new set of environmental concerns that remain at the core of society’s anxiety about the future. The issue has become a focal point on governmental agendas around the world. In December 2009 the United Nations, along with global leaders from around the world, convened at the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark with hopes of reaching: (1) a binding international resolution for the reduction of greenhouse gases emissions; and (2) a set of agreed-upon strategies aimed at helping developing countries reduce their emissions (Cop15, 2009). Climate change is directly tied to economic growth and it is predicted to have tangible impacts on the planet within a few years, if not already (Gore, 2006). These predictions are bringing the climate change issue to the top of the list on organizations’ sustainability agendas. Not only have governments been involved in attempting to mitigate issues around climate change, but entrepreneurs and businesses have also addressed the challenge. Private industry has developed strategies to reduce carbon footprints, and it is important to understand the existing motivations for businesses to begin taking action on this issue. Our research focuses on sustainable actions being driven by a particular type of entrepreneur and we propose a classification of these individuals based on Zahra’s typology of social entrepreneurs (Zahra et al., 2009).
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