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Title: Corporations, responsibility and the environment
Author: Bradshaw, Carrie Julia
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2013
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Corporate Environmental Responsibility (CER)—that corporations can and should play an active role in the governance of environmental protection—is justified primarily by reference to the business case; the claim that behaving responsibly pays. In privileging a market voice for the environment, however, the business case alone is an inadequate justification for CER. As such, this thesis considers a qualitatively different justification: that there exists normative and pragmatic space for CER within contemporary approaches to environmental law and regulation. The thesis suggests that CER is best understood and justified by reference to the positive and normative implications of decentred regulation, where regulation is no longer the preserve of government and, in view of the limitations of governmental control, nor should it be. A waste-based case study illustrates the potential and limits of CER in this regard. However, this normative space for CER in decentred environmental regulation is not mirrored within corporate law and governance. Notwithstanding references to the ‘environment’ in the Companies Act 2006, the theoretical orthodoxy and its influence over the positive mainstays of UK corporate governance regard environmental concerns as largely irrelevant to company law and decision-making. In order to remedy this problematic position of corporate environmental irrelevance, as well as to more generally enhance CERs limited normative appeal, the thesis examines the nature and location of a voice for the environment within corporations. It argues that intra-corporate environmental voice should be enhanced through company law, providing environmental management systems (EMSs) as one possible example of ways in which company law might provide room for corporate environmental conscience to breathe.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available