(In)Action? Climate change discourse of the European “dirty” industries

  • Mirja Kemppi-Pfleger (Redner*in)

Aktivität: VortragWissenschaftlicher Vortrag (Science-to-Science)


The purpose of this study, which is a part of a larger dissertation project, is to acquire a more profound understanding about the climate change discourse of large European companies. This will be done by analysing a corpus of sustainability reports.
Previous research on corporate climate change discourse has mainly focused on the oil and gas industry. So far, no comparative studies between different industries have been conducted. To address this research gap, the climate change discourse of oil and gas companies will be compared with that of the automotive industry. More specifically, this study focuses on identifying possible similarities and differences between the ways companies discursively construct climate action.
In this corpus-assisted critical discourse study, a compiled corpus is analysed using the Critical Discourse Analysis tools developed by Van Leeuwen (2008). The corpus comprises the sustainability reports of the five largest companies in the European single market of both industries from 2014, 2016 and 2018. The corporate discourse on climate action will be examined by investigating frequencies of climate-change-related words as well as their collocations and concordances using Sketch Engine. This quantitative and qualitative analysis will reveal companies’ attitudes towards climate change and its mitigation. The diachronic setup of this study further allows deeper insights into the changes in companies’ climate change communication. It is hypothesised that due to recent developments, reports from 2018 pay greater attention to the issue than those from 2014.

Van Leeuwen, Theo. 2008. Discourse and Practice: New tools for critical discourse analysis.
Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Zeitraum26 Aug. 202128 Aug. 2021
EreignistitelABC Regional Conference: Europe, Africa and Middle East
OrtVienna, ÖsterreichAuf Karte anzeigen