Assigning firm-level GHGE reductions based on national goals


The need to protect the environment, control pollution and reduce the effects of global warming has raised a lot of concern globally. Today, adverse weather and climate changes are noticed due to the high rate of global warming. Emission of greenhouse gases due to manufacturing, industrial and commercial activities worldwide have been the leading cause of global warming and pollution. Various stakeholders and governments across the globe have shown their commitments towards supporting rules and regulations put in place to help curb the problem. For instance, a universal consensus agreement was arrived at the famous 2015 Paris Agreement by world leaders, on how to reduce the rate of greenhouse gases emission s especially by the developed countries.

Some countries such as United States and Canada have set their targets towards reducing such emissions. Realization of such goals has however proved difficult to achieve. There is a clear indication that the 2025 global target on green gases emissions levels may be missed by far if nothing is done towards changing the implementation strategies of the policies regarding global warming and environmental protection.

This paper, therefore, proposes a rigorous mechanism for achieving the Paris Agreement goals; an essential step in addressing the catastrophic climate changes and effects brought about by green gases emissions and global warming.

Professor Lotfi Belkhir and Jacob Jackson at McMaster University in Canada, for the first time, propose a comprehensive theoretical framework that will help achieve the set mitigation targets. According to the authors, the goals can be set at a country level covering all the firms in that particular country which will then translate into a collective country target. However, the system to be effective, it must be goal-oriented, no-discriminative, equitable and actionable. The research work has therefore been published in the journal, Journal of Cleaner Production.

The research by Professor Lotfi and Jacob successfully assessed the greenhouse gases emission menace and came up with a rigorous framework for mitigation purposes that will see the reduction in the emission rates. The presented system comprises a single metric that allows setting, measuring and tracking of every emission details of all the entities in the commercial sector. Based on the reduction performance of various industries and firms, an accurate comparison can be made which can be used in evaluating how a particular country is fairing in achieving its own reduction goals. The country will also be able to meet its vital core objectives relying on a science-based framework that will ease its implementation.

The authors are the first to develop such a framework for the mitigation and reduction of greenhouse gas emission from the national levels to the individual firm level. The model uses a single standard metric in setting, measuring and tracking down the reduction performance against the expected target. It takes into consideration the market nature, competition level, financial capabilities among other useful information that can be used by policymakers in developing fair policies such as taxation and carbon pricing. The proposal also allows co-operating leaders and other business owners to evaluate the effectiveness of their strategies towards achieving their goals concerning green gas reduction. Their study hopefully will advance environmental protection as it is not only applicable to greenhouse gas emissions reduction but can also be implemented efficiently in other areas water and waste management.

 Assigning firm-level GHGE reductions based on national goals-Advances in Engineering

About the author

Dr. Lotfi Belkhir is a physicist, inventor, entrepreneur and a scholar. He currently holds the Endowed Chair in Eco-Entrepreneurship at the Walter G. Booth School of Engineering Practice & Technology at McMaster University. Dr. Belkhir’s current research and teaching have for core mission the advancement of a sustainable society through innovation, entrepreneurship, design and policy, as well as through the harmonious meshing of sound and rigorous theory with effective and practical applications.

Recently, his school’s Master’s in Entrepreneurship program received the coveted Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award by the International Council of Small Business & Entrepreneurship (ICSB); the first and only in Canada (see story ).

Dr. Belkhir’s career illustrates his own philosophy of combining theory and practice to solve complex and multifaceted challenges; In 2001 he founded Kirtas Technologies, the maker of the world’s first and fastest automatic book scanner, which, under his leadership, ranked as of one of Inc. 500 fastest growing companies in America two years in a row, and received the 2003 prestigious Best of What’s New Award by Popular Science Magazine. Dr. Belkhir is a regularly featured speaker on the subjects of Innovation, Sustainability, and Entrepreneurship at many venues. He holds a Ph.D. in physics and a Master’s in Management of Technology. Originally from Algeria, Lotfi is fluent in English, Arabic and French.


Jackson, J., & Belkhir, L. (2018). Assigning firm-level GHGE reductions based on national goals – Mathematical model & empirical evidenceJournal of Cleaner Production170, 76-84.


Go To Journal of Cleaner Production 


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