The Business Case Of Climate Change: A search for profit maximization in the face of new legitimacy claims

Mari Ahlsen Tenden

Student thesis: Master thesis


Climate change has been identified as one of the biggest challenges of our time and a threat to economic development. In order to find a sustainable solution to these challenges, swift and large-scale actions are needed within societies, which depend on the participation of the private sector. The objective of this thesis is to contribute to the ongoing discussion of how to further enhance private engagement by addressing how environmental concerns currently influence business strategies. The business case of climate change is assessed through a case study of an international oil and gas company. The findings of this analysis illustrates that environmental concerns have entered the international business context as changes in stakeholders’ interests, and that a company’s strategy largely depends on the expectations and demands of its salient stakeholders. Such externally oriented and reactive approaches have led to strategies of minimum compliance, leaving the responsibility in the hands of international legislators. Alternative perspectives from polycentric and institutional theory may contribute to a more viable climate debate and different approaches to the roles and responsibilities of companies.

EducationsMSc in International Business, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2015
Number of pages79