Capitalism, the Sustainability Crisis, and the Limitations of Current Business Governance

Company Law and Sustainability: Legal Barriers and Opportunities, Beate Sjåfjell and Benjamin J. Richardson (eds), Cambridge University Press, 2015

University of Oslo Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 2015-18

Nordic & European Company Law Working Paper No. 15-08

36 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2015 Last revised: 9 Oct 2015

See all articles by Benjamin J. Richardson

Benjamin J. Richardson

University of Tasmania - Faculty of Law

Beate Sjåfjell

University of Oslo - Faculty of Law

Date Written: August 18, 2015

Abstract

This opening chapter of the volume ‘Company Law and Sustainability’ is a clarion call for reform of company law in order to help reorient businesses in more environmentally sustainable directions. Taking a multi-jurisdictional perspective, the core environmental limitations of corporate governance and cognate areas of business law, as well as environmental regulation itself, are unveiled. The aspirations and methods of the voluntary movement for corporate social responsibility are similarly critiqued as an unconvincing solution to the limitations of legal governance, The global economic and environmental crises are examined to highlight not only the failure of existing approaches but also to present an opportunity to harness growing public anxiety to promote new legal and market solutions that will foster sustainability. After sketching some of the elements of a "sustainable company", the chapter closes with an overview of the other contributions to this book as well as acknowledgements of the work of the Sustainable Companies Project that inspired this book.

Suggested Citation

Richardson, Benjamin J. and Sjåfjell, Beate, Capitalism, the Sustainability Crisis, and the Limitations of Current Business Governance (August 18, 2015). Company Law and Sustainability: Legal Barriers and Opportunities, Beate Sjåfjell and Benjamin J. Richardson (eds), Cambridge University Press, 2015; University of Oslo Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 2015-18; Nordic & European Company Law Working Paper No. 15-08. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2646439

Benjamin J. Richardson (Contact Author)

University of Tasmania - Faculty of Law ( email )

Private Bag 89
Hobart, Tasmania 7001
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://www.utas.edu.au/law

Beate Sjåfjell

University of Oslo - Faculty of Law ( email )

PO Box 6706 St Olavsplass
Oslo, 0130
Norway

HOME PAGE: http://www.jus.uio.no/ifp/english/people/aca/beatesj/

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