Adopting the Laws of Nature to Protect Nature?

16 Pages Posted: 29 Nov 2013

See all articles by Shann Turnbull

Shann Turnbull

International Institute for Self-Governance; Sustainable Money Working Group; New Garden City Alliance

Date Written: November 17, 2013


The research question is how might firms obtain the incentive to minimize any negative environmental impact arising from their business? One way is for the constitutions of firms to be amended, with or without a tax incentive, to integrate environmental stewardship into their governance architecture. Alternatively, laws could be introduced to allow citizens to become environmental co-regulators. To protect the property rights of investors and allow a nuanced efficient resolution of any conflicts between them and environmentally concerned stakeholders the constitutions of firms could be amended to separate the power to manage a business from the power to govern the firm. This allows the introduction of a network form of governance that is universally found in nature to allow creatures to sustain their existence. Network governance allows other stakeholders like employees, suppliers, distributors and customers to also voice their concerns to protect and further their interests by also becoming co-regulators with environmentalists. In this way network governance furthers self-governance to reduce the need for corporate laws, regulations, regulators, legal actions, standards and codes of practice. Democracy is enriched at the firm level while reducing the role, size and cost of governments.

Keywords: Co-regulation, CSR, Governance architecture, Environmental stewardship, Network governance

JEL Classification: D71, D74, G38, K22, K32, L22, Q30

Suggested Citation

Turnbull, Shann, Adopting the Laws of Nature to Protect Nature? (November 17, 2013). Available at SSRN: or

Shann Turnbull (Contact Author)

International Institute for Self-Governance ( email )

PO Box 266 Woollahra
Cell: +61418222378
Sydney, New South Wales 1350
+61293278487 (Phone)
+61280655905 (Fax)

SKYPE: shann.turnbull

Sustainable Money Working Group ( email )

Holyoake House
Hanover Street
Manchester, M60 0AS
United Kingdom

New Garden City Alliance ( email )

113 Guinness Court
London, UK, SE1 3TA
United Kingdom
+44 207 378 1902 (Phone)


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