Inclusive and Sustainable Corporate Finance

In order to advance the Green Party’s core objectives of environmental sustainability and social inclusion, we want to ensure that companies - one of the key agents in shaping Ireland’s future - work not only in the short-term interests of shareholders, but for the common good.

Companies are the leading actors in our economy, so a change in company behaviour is an essential element in combating the climate emergency.

Our hopes of tackling climate change rest heavily on changing company behaviour. Companies account for the bulk of production, investment, energy use and greenhouse emissions - but also the innovation essential to a sustainable future. While regulation and taxation can nudge companies towards sustainable behaviour, legal obligations and financial pressures incentivise directors to put short-term profits ahead of social or environmental considerations.

Our policy would require corporate decision-making to take greater account of a wider range of stakeholders and of environmental sustainability. It applies only to companies with more than 250 employees – 0.2% of Irish companies, but 87.8% of value-added.

Key Policy Points

Require company purposes to be set out in the company constitution, with a published strategy for advancing it.

Widen the fiduciary responsibilities of company directors, to take greater account of other stakeholders’ interests, and the environment.

A statutory right for workers to be represented by a trade union for collective bargaining; promotion of participative and representative structures.

In line with EU proposals, create a statutory duty of due diligence to identify, prevent, mitigate and account for adverse corporate impacts on human rights and the environment throughout the supply chain.

Legislate for worker directors in larger companies.

Legislate for stakeholder advisory panels.

Widen the remit and membership of remuneration committees.

Policy passed: October 2022

UN Sustainable Development Goals: XXX

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