Corporate governance of the environment
The global pursuit of a more sustainable future cannot be achieved without the active engagement of the business community. The challenge for business has been to strategically engage with and embed environmental responsibility within their wider corporate governance to create effective corporate governance of the environment. The assumption would appear to be, that we have already witnessed the construction of such governance, delivered through the attainment of a paradigmatic shift in corporate engagement with environmental issues. This thesis questions the validity of such an assumption, exploring what the reality of current corporate governance of the environment is, and the drivers which have shaped it. Through a dual strategy of web-based and questionnaire research, analysis is made of the FTSE 100 and 250 Index companies, the nature of their individual and aggregate strategising and attenuating corporate governance of the environment. The findings illustrate that far from having achieved a new paradigm of corporate environmental engagement, embodied through effective corporate governance of the environment, there exists significant levels of non- engagement within UK business. Quantitatively and qualitatively, the nature of current corporate governance of the environment, indicates that stakeholder expectations of a new era of informed corporate environmental responsibility have not yet been met there exists significant scope for developing current corporate governance in this context. Crucially, the findings also suggest for such companies, that in the absence of mandatory drivers for change, such a shift will not be forthcoming. This has important implications for the current, largely self-regulatory, policy approach prevailing in the UK.