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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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SECTION B: What sanctions? General presentation

Perspectives for Sustainable Corporate Governance

Catherine Malecki

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407.  Between the principle of a sanction and the risk of stigmatising non-socially responsible behaviour. It could be considered strange to talk of sanctions for corporate governance. Does this amount to an admission of the impotence of its mechanisms that were nonetheless supposed to improve operations through numerous incentives (aim of transparency, prevention of conflicts of interest, rules on multiple directorships and proportional remuneration)? This would be an overly superficial interpretation, focusing primarily on the tools of corporate governance. However, an analysis focusing on the aim of corporate governance shows that CSR perhaps offers an opportunity to rethink sanctions or, failing that, at least to define the ingredients of the sanction,1 and the self-regulation of behaviours that are not socially responsible. This analysis needs to be developed and tested, but it already provides an outline for this form of sustainable corporate governance that is simultaneously entering the digital era through the use of the internet and social media, the era of choices (environmental choices, choice of corporate governance codes and choice of the structure of the company in question) and the era of increasingly numerous obligations towards society as a whole. Corporate governance is undergoing a profound transformation, in “slow-made process” mode and the position of rejecting the obligations to provide non-financial information on the grounds of their cost is becoming increasingly hard to justify.2 CSR offers companies an opportunity to contribute to progress in the twenty-first century, which will be an era of major scientific discoveries...

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