Corporate Sustainability: A Legal Perspective

09/01/2015

If you search the website of virtually any major corporation for the terms “sustainability” and “social responsibility,” you will likely land on a portal that discusses in great detail the company’s efforts to address the effect of its activities on society and the environment. Walmart’s website, for example, proclaims that “[e]nvironmental sustainability has become an essential ingredient to doing business responsibly and successfully,” and identifies as its aspirational goals to be supplied 100 percent by renewable energy; to create zero waste; and to sell products that sustain people and the environment. Some commentators suggest we are about to reach the sustainability “tipping point”—the point at which the idea of sustainability becomes a strategic business imperative. This article provides an introduction to the concept of corporate sustainability and discusses its legal context and ramifications.

Excerpted from ABA's Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources In-House Counsel Committee Newsletter, Vol. 16, No. 3. To read the full article, click here.

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