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Corporate Social Responsibility

Perspectives for Sustainable Corporate Governance

Catherine Malecki

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is setting new missions for companies and shining a welcome light on issues such as the behaviour of board members, shared value, the well-being of stakeholders, the protection of vulnerable individuals and the roles played by public opinion and shareholders. This timely book seeks to lay the foundations for a sustainable corporate governance based on the European Commission definition of CSR as ‘the responsibility of enterprises for their impacts on society’. More generally, this sustainable corporate governance responds to some of the pressing challenges of the 21st century, from sustainable finance and climate change to carbon reduction and population growth.
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Chapter 10: What other paths or avenues for investigation exist?

Perspectives for Sustainable Corporate Governance

Catherine Malecki

Extract

CSR can help us to rethink the notion of corporate interest. Indeed, the establishment of stakeholder theory could serve as a “compass” for sustainable corporate governance. This would involve taking into account the interests of stakeholders, as well as the “prosperity objective”, something that is largely dictated by long-term considerations. While developing the idea of a sustainable shared interest may be possible, a French-style “benefit corporation” would be less suitable. In French corporate law, the notion of “corporate interest”, while very rich, is also highly controversial. CSR is an opportunity for such law to take account of the interests of stakeholders, which must of course be ranked in order of priority. Case law could be used to flesh out this notion in the future.

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