Redefining the Corporation for a Sustainable New Economy
Journal of Law and Society, special issue edited by Bronwen Morgan and Amelia Thorpe, Forthcoming
16 Pages Posted: 26 Sep 2017 Last revised: 10 Mar 2019
Date Written: September 25, 2017
Business as usual’ is a very certain path towards a very uncertain future. On the ‘business as usual’ trajectory, the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), epitomising the overarching goals of the global society, is unlikely. A fundamental transition away from ‘business as usual’ and onto a sustainable path is necessary. However, the SDGs themselves do not seem to be informed by a recognition of a potential conflict between indefinite economic growth and planetary boundaries. This article posits that this is symptomatic of our economic system. With that backdrop, the article turns to the dominant business form: the corporation, to discuss its significance as a barrier to and potential as a driver for sustainability. Drawing on multijurisdictional, comparative research, the article presents a reform proposal, challenging the shareholder primacy drive, and ending on a positive note on the potential of corporate contribution to systemic change.
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