The shifting global economic and environmental landscape is challenging the role of governments, civil society and businesses. The ripples of Hurricane Sandy2 are still discernible and the uncertainty surrounding financial markets and climate change has heightened expectations for the need of good governance, transparency and ethical business. Businesses can no longer deliver products or services, turn a profit, publish their annual reports and be considered model organisations. The perception is that they must operate in a responsible, sustainable and ethical manner that is transparent and contributes to the communities in which they operate. This applies not only to multinational companies but also to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Lawyers advising companies about their affairs need to understand these shifts and be able to address them, particularly as the law increasingly requires company directors to understand their reporting and other obligations, as well as how to implement them.
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