Cooperatives and Sustainability - A Legal Perspective
Discussion on corporate social responsibility (CSR) has focused primarily on corporations, which are undeniably the most significant non-state market actors. There are, however, several other business forms, which also deserve attention and especially cooperatives have shown great potential as platforms for sustainable business operations.
The purpose of the cooperative is to promote the aggregate welfare of its members as consumers, providers and/or workers and simultaneously to carry concern for the community within which it operates. Therefore, one can argue that cooperatives, unlike corporations, truly support sustainable development and researchers should pay much more attention towards them.
The purpose of LL.D., Docent Ville Pönkä’s presentation is to introduce the cooperative form from a lawyer’s perspective and to describe how they differ from corporations. In addition he focuses on the question of how cooperatives facilitate sustainable development – in theory and practice. Pönkä’s presentation is based on his book chapter titled “The Cooperative as a Driver for Change”, which will be published later this year in the “Cambridge Handbook of Corporate Law, Corporate Governance and Sustainability”.
LL.D., Docent of Civil Law and Commercial Law Ville Pönkä is a Senior Lecturer and a MDP Director at the UH’s Faculty of Law. Pönkä’s main fields of research include company law, cooperative law, contract law and arbitration. Pönkä has also a strong focus on sustainable development and currently he is studying the cooperative business form as a “driver for change”. Pönkä is a member of several international scholarly communities such as the European Corporate Governance Institute, the European Consortium for Political Research, the Nordic Company Law Network, the UK Society for Co-operative Studies – and the HELSUS.