Parts of this paper were presented at the Environmental Law Section of the SLS Annual Conference at Downing College, Cambridge, in September 2011 and at a UCL Faculty of Laws Staff Seminar in December 2011. I would like to thank the participants of both for interesting and useful discussion. I am also grateful for the insightful observations of two anonymous reviewers, as well as to Dr Douglas Guilfoyle for detailed comments on an earlier draft and Dr Marc Moore for extensive commentary and interesting discussions. I owe particular thanks to Professor Maria Lee, for her generosity with time in commenting on countless drafts. Any errors of course remain my own.
The environmental business case and unenlightened shareholder value
Article first published online: 10 OCT 2012
© 2012 The Author. Legal Studies © 2012 The Society of Legal Scholars
Volume 33, Issue 1, pages 141–161, March 2013
How to Cite
Bradshaw, C. (2013), The environmental business case and unenlightened shareholder value. Legal Studies, 33: 141–161. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-121X.2012.00253.x
- Issue published online: 6 FEB 2013
- Article first published online: 10 OCT 2012
The business case for corporate environmental responsibility is the claim that behaving responsibly makes financial sense. It is impossible to exaggerate the contemporary significance of this claim, not least in legitimising environmental concerns in the corporate sphere. However, the business case is not without significant empirical and normative limitations, as is illustrated by the corporate environmental problem of supermarket waste. This paper evaluates enlightened shareholder value under s 172 of the Companies Act 2006 in light of such business case limitations. It suggests that s 172, by procedurally mandating the business case for corporate environmental responsibility, is a retrograde step which envisions not enlightened, but rather environmentally unenlightened, shareholders.