The Future of Company Law and Sustainability
Company Law and Sustainability: Legal Barriers and Opportunities, Beate Sjåfjell and Benjamin J. Richardson (eds), Cambridge University Press, 2015
Posted: 22 Sep 2015
Date Written: September 21, 2015
How might company law be in a world in which all economic sectors are expected to show leadership and share responsibility in the transition to an environmentally sustainable future? That is the focus of the final chapter, which synthesizes insights from the rest of book in reiterating the importance of law reform and canvassing some options for it. The existing tentative reforms that reflect the model of enlightened shareholder value or the option of incorporating as a public benefit corporation, for example, are rejected as insufficient and too timid to achieve the fundamental shift in business practices. Directing the business community to act for the long term and an overarching duty of environmental care are among options that should be considered. Each would need to be supported by an array of standards and procedures so that they could be effectively operationalized and implemented. Company law and other areas of business law cannot achieve the transition to sustainability, but without such law reform, progress in other domains will be seriously hindered.
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