Company Law and Sustainability - Legal Barriers and Opportunities

Edited by Beate Sjåfjell and Benjamin Richardson

Publisher: Cambridge University Press.


Cambridge University Press, May 2015

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.

The book contains the following chapters, whereof the first chapter and abstracts of the other Chapters are available on SSRN

1. Capitalism, the sustainability crisis and the limitations of current business governance, by Benjamin J. Richardson and Beate Sjåfjell

2. Corporate social responsibility and environmental sustainability, by David Millon

3. Shareholder primacy: the main barrier to sustainable companies, by Beate Sjåfjell, Andrew Johnston, Linn Anker-Sørensen and David Millon

4. The role of board directors in promoting environmental sustainability, by Blanaid Clarke

5. Accounting, auditing and reporting: supporting or obstructing the sustainable companies objective? By Charlotte Villiers and Jukka Mähönen

6. Financial markets and socially responsible investing, by Benjamin J. Richardson

7. Limits to corporate reform and alternative legal structures, by Carol Liao

8. The future for company law and sustainability, by Beate Sjåfjell and Benjamin J. Richardson

Published Mar. 2, 2015 9:30 AM - Last modified Feb. 5, 2018 9:58 AM