Companies Act comes into force, but Brown must go further to achieve targets

1 October 2007 - 1:00am
Press release

The Act represents the biggest shake-up in company law in 150 years, and will for the first time require the largest listed companies to report on their social and environmental impacts, as well as obliging all company directors to take stock of their business activities' effects on employees, communities and the environment.

But campaigners are concerned that the legislation lacks the teeth to make business live up to their obligations, and fails to ensure that companies can be held to account for complicity in human rights abuses and their impact on the environment and the wider society.

Simon McRae, senior campaigns officer at War on Want, said: "The Company Act was a welcome step foward in making UK companies take their social and environmental impacts more seriously. Despite this progress, we need to continue to challenge UK companies not to exploit workers and local communities, particularly those in the global South, as gaps still remain in UK law." The Corporate Responsibility (CORE) Coalition, of which War on Want is a leading member, has published a guide for campaigners on how to use the Act to improve the social and environmental performance of companies. This is available below.

Media contacts: Simon McRae, War on Want: 07779 146043 Hannah Ellis, The Corporate Responsibility (CORE) Coalition: 07952 876929 John Coventry, ActionAid UK: 07734 581 738


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