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37 - Disclosure Regulation and Sustainability

Legislation and Governance Implications

from Part IV - Potential Drivers for Change

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  25 November 2019

Beate Sjåfjell
Affiliation:
Universitetet i Oslo
Christopher M. Bruner
Affiliation:
University of Georgia
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Summary

Companies’ sustainable and socially responsible footprint, especially multi-national corporations, is increasingly scrutinised by policy-makers, stakeholders and the media. However, regulatory policy to promote socially responsible and sustainable behaviour at companies remains at an emerging state as the minimally intrusive regulatory instrument of disclosure regulation seems to be the preferred policy. Disclosure regulation merely compels information to be released so that next steps can be taken by interested recipients, whether they be the market or stakeholders. This Chapter explores disclosure regulation introduced at the EU level transposed in the UK, as well as the UK’s own initiatives such as the modern slavery statement that large businesses have to publicly disclose in relation to their supply chains. It is argued that disclosure regulation does not necessarily foster deep self-reflection and fundamental changes in corporate behaviour, as corporations’ responses to compliance with disclosure regulation vary significantly.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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