The onset of the Great Financial Crisis in 2007/8 has triggered a widespread debate about the causes and the social and environmental consequences of the lack of long-term investment around the world. This volume, the third in the Sustainable Company book series produced by the GOODCORP network of academic and trade union experts on corporate governance, presents a ‘stakeholder’ approach to the problem. The analysis and policy prescriptions presented here go beyond mainstream economic analysis by highlighting the need for major changes in the way resources are saved, distributed and invested in the interests of a sustainable and just economy and society.

Individual chapters explore different dimensions of the problem of short-termism and possible policy responses. Key themes in this volume include the state of the debate on long-term investment in Europe, increasing worker voice in pension fund investment and implementing financial transaction taxes to discourage financial market speculation. Policy proposals beyond the mainstream include strengthening worker participation rights (including the right to non-financial information from companies) and using international investment treaties to support social and environmental standards.

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Table of contents

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Sigurt Vitols: Introduction: a stakeholder perspective on the long-term investment debate

Andrew Johnston and Paige Morrow: Towards long-termism in corporate governance: the Shareholder Rights Directive and beyond

Janet Williamson: Chapter 2 - The Kay Review of Equity Markets – game changer or missed opportunity?

Andreas Botsch: Chapter 3 - Long-term orientation and sustainability through financial transaction taxes

Pierre Habbard: Chapter 4 - Shifting to the long-term: the road ahead

Gerald Klec and David Mum: Chapter 5 - Trade union influence on companies via pension fund investment

Jan Cremers: Chapter 6 - Workplace rights and sustainability reporting – is the workforce a well-informed stakeholder?

Ulrich Mückenberger: Chapter 7 - Can International Investment Agreements support labour standards?

Wolfgang Kowalsky: Chapter 8 - The ETUC on the way towards sustainable European employee involvement

Ieke van den Burg: Chapter 9 - Workers’ capital, corporate governance and social responsibility

Sigurt Vitols: Conclusion: the road ahead to the Sustainable Company