Strategic Decisions to Increase Performance Band in Carbon Disclosure Project Reports

Date of Conferral



Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)




Kevin Davies


In 2014, only 48% of S&P companies scored high-performance band B ratings and above in their Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) reports to attract the interest of institutional investors holding U.S. $92 trillion plus assets under management. This multiple case study explored the business leaders' strategic decisions to improve the performance band ratings in the companies' CDP reports. The conceptual framework for this study was stakeholder theory, which suggests that businesses should incorporate the interest of institutional investors to minimize the climate-related risks that could affect their investment decisions. The target population for this study was business leaders from S&P 500 companies in the eastern United States who have experience in making strategic decisions to improve performance band ratings in the CDP reports. Data collection included semistructured face-to-face interviews with 4 business leaders and an exploration of company archival documents related to carbon management. Using Yin's data analysis method 5 themes emerged: governance, risk management, target and initiatives, measurement and verification, and transparency and disclosure. These themes highlighted companies' governing strategies for better carbon management, which are essential in achieving better performance band ratings in the CDP reports to attract the interest of intuitional investors. Better carbon management by S&P 500 companies will facilitate a positive social change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions that are detrimental to human health and well-being of its stakeholders.

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