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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 15: General overview of socially responsible investment

Perspectives for Sustainable Corporate Governance

Catherine Malecki

Extract

SRI funds are an interesting subject for study due to the role they play in sustainable finance, a field that itself is undergoing significant change. There are many questions surrounding this issue. Should there be one or several definitions of SRI? What kind of regulatory framework should be put in place to govern it? What role does theory have to play? Who are the pioneers in this field? In France, the Association Française de la Gestion Financière (French Asset Management Association) and Forum pour l’Investissement Responsable (Responsible Investment Forum) have both put forward definitions of SRI. However, thanks to the work of Eurosif, an operational definition could be developed at European level that would cover and standardise the range of (ethical, social, green, responsible, sustainable) areas covered by such funds. These funds would have to be certified on the basis of environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria and a transparency code would need to be put in place. International initiatives have proved fruitful, particularly those launched under the United Nations Environment Programme's Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and the NCD Roadmap, which implements the four commitments of the National Capital Declaration. The number of financial rating indices is increasing.

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