26 July 2024
Corporate Governance and Sustainability (ESG)
Climate change threatens our world (economy)! Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) aspects of business play an increasingly dominant role on the agenda of boards all over the world. European large corporations have to give ESG issues top priority because of the adoption of the Corporate Sustaining Reporting Directive (CSRD) and the upcoming Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD). Recent case law (Milieudefensie v. Shell) shows that courts are receptive to private enforcement of ESG matters.
On 5 January 2023, the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) of the European Union entered into force. This new Directive modernizes and strengthens the rules concerning the social and environmental information that large and listed (also small and medium sized enterprises) corporations have to report. Will these new rules together with the European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS) ensure that investors and stakeholders have access to the information they need to assess the impact of corporations on people and the environment?
On 23 February 2022, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD). The aim of this Directive is to foster sustainable and responsible corporate behaviour and to anchor human rights and environmental consideration in the operations of corporations and corporate governance. Will these rules ensure that corporations address adverse impacts of their actions, including in their value chains inside and outside Europe?
On 26 May 2021, The Hague District Court of the Netherlands ordered Shell to limit its CO2 emissions by at least net 45% at the end of 2030. Shell has since appealed this decision. On 25 April 2022, Friends of the Earth Netherlands threatened to pursue director liability claims against the Shell directors if they failed to adhere to the District Court’s judgment. Which effect will these new rules and case law have on the way corporations are governed and controlled?
These and other questions will be dealt with in the course 'Corporate Governance and Sustainability (ESG)', from both economic and legal perspectives.
Prof. dr. Wilco J. Oostwouder
Bachelor and Master students with an interest in Law & Economics. Ph.D. students and young professionals are also welcome to apply.
To equip students and young professionals with an insight into the background and development of key issues in Corporate Governance. The assignment will stimulate participants to apply this knowledge to one of the big scandals whilst also practicing academic writing skills. This course is also an excellent introduction to the course Public Law & Economics and the Caput Corporate Governance of the Master Law & Economics of Utrecht University.
EUR 725: Course + course materials