Forum. Currently, the company is assigned to its main objective the realization of a profit for his associates. Article 1833 of the Civil Code the French, he said, not very pithy, that “Every company shall have a lawful purpose and be established in the common interest of the partners” – and thus shareholders in the case of a limited company ?
More and more voices are heard to challenge this conception of the company and ask for a redefinition of its objectives and the addition to its aim financial profit to social and environmental goals that meet the concerns of parties other than associates, but affected by its activities. To begin with, the president of the Republic, which wants to open a debate on what is the company.
A debate, not a new one, revived by the crisis and the environmental challenges
This debate is not new, and has already caused much ink to flow. But the crisis and the ecological challenges have re-launched. In recent years, many proposals have been made to renew the objectives of the company, including by academics and firms specializing in corporate ratings (See Armand Hatchuel and Blanche Segrestin, Rebuilding the enterprise (Threshold, 2012) ; Baudoin Roger, Blanche Segrestin and Stéphane Vernac, The company, blind point of knowledge (Human Sciences, 2014) ; as well as the work of the Collège des Bernardins). Some companies are also involved in the implementation of these proposals.
“Declaration of extra-financial performance ”
Moreover, the French legislator did not remain inert : recently, the decree n° 2017-1180 of July 19, 2017 and the decree n° 2017-1265 of August 9, 2017, required of companies, listed or unlisted, but beyond certain thresholds, as they integrate in their management report a ‘ declaration of extra-financial performance “….