Corporate Sustainability Practices and Regulation: The Existing Frameworks & Best Practice Proposals
Gill North, 'Corporate Sustainability Practices and Regulation: The Existing Frameworks & Best Practice Proposals' in JJ du Plessis and CK Low, Corporate Governance Codes for the 21st Century (Springer International Publishing, Switzerland, 2017)
21 Pages Posted: 11 Jul 2017
Date Written: April 5, 2016
Public corporations are increasingly acknowledging their role in society and the need to communicate and engage with their many stakeholders. This broader focus is evidenced by sustainability disclosures in the form of management discussion and analysis, standalone sustainability reports and integrated reports. The paper reviews the use of soft and hard law rules and the disclosure delivery mechanisms within these developing reporting frameworks. It then considers the purposes and intended audience of sustainability disclosures, the requirement for and benefits of mandatory reporting regimes, and the design of a best practice regulatory structure. It concludes that best practice corporate sustainability decision making, conduct, and reporting require clear objectives and rules and independent monitoring and supervision. It highlights the need for public confidence and trust in corporations and financial markets and suggest this requires companies to install a culture of continuous disclosure, engagement, and accountability with all investors and other stakeholders, especially during periods of stress or crises.
Keywords: corporate sustainability, company disclosure, company reporting, sustainability reporting, stakeholder theory
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