Corporate Management & Reporting of Environmental and Social Matters in New Zealand: The Rules, Evidence & Analysis
(2018) 23 New Zealand Business Law Quarterly 240
24 Pages Posted: 21 Jul 2018
Date Written: December 11, 2017
Empirical studies consistently highlight the commercial gains achieved by corporations that have long term strategies and plans founded on principles of environmental and social sustainability. As a result, the ability of a company to appropriately manage and report on business risks and environmental and social matters is receiving increasing attention from investors, other stakeholders, and policy makers. New Zealand has recently strengthened its corporate governance recommendations around the management and reporting of business risks and environmental and social matters, and there are further statutory and listing rules that may apply to this form of reporting. This article examines the role and impact of this integrated corporate law framework, with a focus on the rules governing reporting of management discussion and analysis. It finds that the overall quality and usefulness of corporate reporting on environmental and social risks are below best practice and the legal pressures on companies to improve the quality of this form of reporting are weak. The article concludes that listed corporations and policy makers in New Zealand have yet to fully absorb the financial, reputational, and other consequences when environmental and social risks are inadequately managed and reported.
Keywords: corporate governance, company reporting, company disclosure, corporate risk management, environmental, social and governance reporting
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