The Limited Influence of Voluntary Environmental Partnerships on Increasing the Saliency of Freight Emissions in Corporate Sustainability Strategy

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions in freight transportation is important for organizations. Transportation emissions are rapidly increasing in developing countries and are the second greatest source of emissions after electricity generation globally. Reducing freight transportation emissions is not a priority on the corporate sustainability agenda for many companies despite their significant impact on climate change. This research explores the paradox between the significant negative impact of freight transportation on climate change and its lack of saliency in corporate strategy using data from in-depth interviews with 12 organizations that are shipper members of SmartWay, a voluntary environmental partnership (VEP). Using mid-range theory (MRT) building beginning with legitimacy theory, this research explores how transportation functions and corporations measure and report freight transportation emissions reduction as part of the environmental sustainability agenda. The results provide insight into how an operationally focused VEP is challenged in gaining strategic organizational importance for its mission of freight emissions reduction and why the current approach of focusing on freight emission issues in transportation has limited traction.


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  • Accession Number: 01895469
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 6 2023 8:40AM