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Company Law and Sustainability
Legal Barriers and Opportunities

£82.00

Benjamin J. Richardson, Beate Sjåfjell, David Millon, Andrew Johnston, Linn Anker-Sørensen, Blanaid Clarke, Charlotte Villiers, Jukka Mähönen, Carol Liao
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  • Date Published: May 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107043275

£ 82.00
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About the Authors
  • This investigation of the barriers to and opportunities for promoting environmental sustainability in company law provides an in-depth comparative analysis of company law regimes across the world. The social norm of shareholder primacy is the greatest barrier preventing progress, and it also helps explain why voluntary action by companies and investors is insufficient. By deconstructing the myth that shareholder primacy has a legal basis and challenging the economic postulates on which mainstream corporate governance debate is based, Company Law and Sustainability reveals a surprisingly large unexplored potential within current company law regimes for companies to reorient themselves towards sustainability. It also suggests possible methods of reforming the existing legal infrastructure for companies and provides an important contribution to the broader debate on how to achieve sustainability.

    • Unprecedented comparative analysis of company law will appeal to those interested in the legal infrastructure of business and how that relates to the impact of business on society
    • Questions the legal-economic postulates on which our current economic regimes are based by challenging conventional wisdom about the significance of shareholders
    • Critiques the existing (largely voluntary) movements for corporate social responsibility and socially responsible investment, and highlights their inadequacies in leveraging significant change in business behaviour
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Company law has typically been seen as a dry and technical subject principally of interest to the community of lawyers. Traditionally its aim has been to create legal certainty for companies themselves in their relations with each other in the marketplace, and to define and combat corrupt, fraudulent or other criminal acts by individuals using company structures to shield their behaviour. This book takes a completely different perspective, analysing how company law is being and can be used as a vital tool to combat new collective threats in the world including climate change, social disintegration and conflict. It is partly a response to the successes, but also the limitations, of movements towards corporate social and environmental responsibility in the last twenty years, that have largely been pursued through a range of voluntary, soft law and other initiatives kept strictly separate from those of corporate governance.' Richard Howitt, MEP, European Parliament Rapporteur on Corporate Social Responsibility, from the Foreword

    '… for those who want a tour of the problems which arise where corporate law and sustainability collide, it is a useful review of the horizon.' Stephen Bloomfield, FCIS, International Company and Commercial Law Review

    'Company Law and Sustainability is clearly one of the most comprehensive works on the topic to date. Overall, the book embodies a truly accessible and well thought out comparative approach to many of the key issues discussed, as well as some ideas for future reform. One can only hope that those with the power to instigate change discover it, before it is too late.' Ben Archer, Legal Studies

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2015
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107043275
    • length: 374 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 22 mm
    • weight: 0.67kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of contributors
    Foreword
    Preface
    1. Capitalism, the sustainability crisis and the limitations of current business governance Benjamin J. Richardson and Beate Sjåfjell
    2. Corporate social responsibility and environmental sustainability David Millon
    3. Shareholder primacy: the main barrier to sustainable companies Beate Sjåfjell, Andrew Johnston, Linn Anker-Sørensen and David Millon
    4. The role of board directors in promoting environmental sustainability Blanaid Clarke
    5. Accounting, auditing and reporting: supporting or obstructing the sustainable companies objective? Charlotte Villiers and Jukka Mähönen
    6. Financial markets and socially responsible investing Benjamin J. Richardson
    7. Limits to corporate reform and alternative legal structures Carol Liao
    8. The future for company law and sustainability Beate Sjåfjell and Benjamin J. Richardson
    Index.

  • Editors

    Beate Sjåfjell, Universitetet i Oslo
    Beate Sjåfjell heads the international network of scholars in the Sustainable Companies Project, on which much of the groundbreaking research in this book is based. Professor Sjåfjell is also the head of the University of Oslo's research group Companies, Markets, Society and the Environment (jus.uio.no/companies) as well as of its European Law Network.

    Benjamin J. Richardson, University of Tasmania
    Benjamin J. Richardson is Professor of Environmental Law at the Faculty of Law and Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania. His teaching and scholarship covers climate change law, socially responsible investment, corporate social responsibility, and Aboriginal legal issues.

    Contributors

    Benjamin J. Richardson, Beate Sjåfjell, David Millon, Andrew Johnston, Linn Anker-Sørensen, Blanaid Clarke, Charlotte Villiers, Jukka Mähönen, Carol Liao

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