This guide provides recommendations for companies pursuing net zero emissions on how to ensure a just transition for their workers and the communities in which they operate.
Investment > ESG and corporate engagement, Private finance
company-level just transition processes
company transition risks
Samantha Smith, Emily Hickson
Just Transition Centre, The B Team
Academic/research institution or journal, Non-profit organization/civil society organization
This guidance document provides operational advice for companies on how to implement a just transition as they seek to reduce carbon emissions. The authors argue that businesses urgently need to understand how such a transition will impact them, outlining the various risks and opportunities (reputational, market, and technological) associated with the transition. Changes in perceptions of the company, shifts in supply and demand, improvements in innovations, policy actions, and industrial relations all provide opportunities for business to maximize positive impacts in support of a just transition.
The authors first make the business case for a just transition before outlining three stages of action for companies aiming to implement a just transition: engage, plan, and enact. They recommend that companies engage in social dialogue with workers, unions, government bodies, and other stakeholders at all phases of the transition, offering specific topics for discussion. With social dialogue as a foundation, a company should create a plan that “is concrete, time-bound, applies indicators, sets measurable goals, and is enterprise-wide.” The authors suggest that companies should conduct regular monitoring and reporting while implementing their plans and “advocate and collaborate… for stronger collective action” to promote a just transition. Throughout the text, the authors offer brief examples of just transition efforts at the business level. They conclude with an annex that offers general principles and recommendations that companies can incorporate into their procurement processes, business and employment planning, and emissions-reduction strategies.
This report from the Just Transition Centre describes various concepts and principles of just transitions, using case studies from around the world to analyze the roles key stakeholders can play.
With social dialogue and social protection as its main principles, the International Labor Organization (ILO) definition of just transition serves as a bridge to the future where “all jobs are green and decent, poverty is eradicated, and communities are thriving and resilient,” as defined by the ILO. This report examines the potential role for various stakeholders depending on the scale of a transition. Drawing from several case studies, the report offers examples in which social dialogue has been key, including the closure of the Diablo Canyon nuclear power facility in California and the wind sector transition in Denmark.
The report further acknowledges gaps in these transitions, such as a lack of appropriate government policies, funds, and structures that make it difficult for workers, employers, and communities to move forward. The author offers recommendations to help achieve both Paris Agreement targets and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including making a strong commitment to social dialogue.