NASCAR Green: The Problem of Sustainability in Corporations and Corporate Law
Matthew T. Bodie
Saint Louis University School of Law
September 5, 2011
Wake Forest Law Review, Vol. 46, No. 3, p. 101, 2011
Saint Louis U. Legal Studies Research Paper 2011-24
The concept of "sustainability" is, at root, about a commitment to considering the future of the planet in our everyday affairs. In the corporate law context, supporters of sustainability seek to integrate these long-term environmental and social concerns into the corporation's DNA. This article seeks to explore sustainability as a corporate law concept by looking at the sustainability efforts of NASCAR and its affiliated firms. NASCAR has undertaken a series of "green" initiatives, most notably in the promotion of alternative fuels. These sustainability efforts are facilitated, in part, by the unusual structure of NASCAR and the sport of stock-car racing. It is not NASCAR's own internal structure that facilitates sustainability, but rather NASCAR's interlocking relationships with corporate partners, who are driven (by ideology and/or consumer tastes) to pursue sustainability efforts. Sustainability advocates should consider not only the corporation itself, but also the relationships between corporations, when developing a corporate law sustainability program. In addition, this article advocates that sustainability efforts focus on environmental issues and, more specifically, the amelioration of climate change, rather than simply adopting the existing corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme.
This paper was presented as part of the Wake Forest Law Review Symposium, "The Sustainable Corporation."
Number of Pages in PDF File: 33
Keywords: corporate law, sustainability, corporate social responsibility, NASCAR
JEL Classification: D63, K22, K32, L21, L83
Date posted: September 5, 2011 ; Last revised: October 6, 2011