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Is the time ripe for global binding norms for corporate accountability?

Is the time ripe for global binding norms for corporate accountability? Standards for the social and environmental performance of corporations have been a topic at every major international conference on environment and development for several decades. A wide variety of voluntary instruments championed under the label of `corporate social responsibility' or corporate social responsibility (CSR) have more recently been challenged by communities calling for greater accountability under the label of `corporate accountability' or CA. This paper examines the dynamics of the CSR/CA debate surrounding the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (the `Rio + 20 Conference'), in particular the failure of an unusual multi-stakeholder consensus on binding `report or explain' standards to gain traction, which raises the question: how close are we to international legally binding norms for corporate accountability in the area of sustainability goals, and what shape could such norms take? It concludes with considerations for a potential legally binding instrument on corporate accountability. Keywords: corporate accountability; CSR; corporate social responsibility; sustainability reporting; sustainability; performance standards; report or explain. Reference to this paper should be made as follows: Stec, S., Paszkiewicz, M. and Antypas, A. (2017) `Is the time ripe for global binding norms for corporate accountability?', Int. J. Innovation and Sustainable Development, Vol. 11, Nos. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Innovation and Sustainable Development Inderscience Publishers

Is the time ripe for global binding norms for corporate accountability?

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Publisher
Inderscience Publishers
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.
ISSN
1740-8822
eISSN
1740-8830
DOI
10.1504/IJISD.2017.083321
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Standards for the social and environmental performance of corporations have been a topic at every major international conference on environment and development for several decades. A wide variety of voluntary instruments championed under the label of `corporate social responsibility' or corporate social responsibility (CSR) have more recently been challenged by communities calling for greater accountability under the label of `corporate accountability' or CA. This paper examines the dynamics of the CSR/CA debate surrounding the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (the `Rio + 20 Conference'), in particular the failure of an unusual multi-stakeholder consensus on binding `report or explain' standards to gain traction, which raises the question: how close are we to international legally binding norms for corporate accountability in the area of sustainability goals, and what shape could such norms take? It concludes with considerations for a potential legally binding instrument on corporate accountability. Keywords: corporate accountability; CSR; corporate social responsibility; sustainability reporting; sustainability; performance standards; report or explain. Reference to this paper should be made as follows: Stec, S., Paszkiewicz, M. and Antypas, A. (2017) `Is the time ripe for global binding norms for corporate accountability?', Int. J. Innovation and Sustainable Development, Vol. 11, Nos.

Journal

International Journal of Innovation and Sustainable DevelopmentInderscience Publishers

Published: Jan 1, 2017

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