Companies Act 2006
The Companies Bill, formerly the Company Law Reform Bill, became law in November 2006.
Thanks to campaigning by Friends of the Earth local groups and activists, we have achieved some important improvements to UK company law.
The Government has recognised that UK companies need to be made more accountable.
This is an important first step, and this fantastic achievement is a testament to the power of campaigning.
I've had more letters from constituents about trade justice and the Companies Bill than any other issue since I became an MP.
Ed Balls MP, Economic Secretary to the Treasury
What did we achieve
Social and environmental reporting
All listed companies are now required to report on:
- Environmental and social issues
- Employee matters
- Issues down supply chains
The Government will also review in 2 years whether compulsory reporting standards are needed, and to ask NGOs what they think.
Company directors are also now obliged, not only to maximise profit, but to also consider their business' impacts on communities and the environment.
Friends of the Earth was campaigning on the Companies Bill as a member of the Corporate Responsibility (CORE) Coalition and the Trade Jusice Movement (TJM).
CORE and TJM say:
We are not aware of any other country in the world that demands in written law a directors' duty on environmental and community impacts.
Friends of the Earth activists and campaigners have played a major role in what many have called one of the biggest public campaigns on any issue in the UK this year.
There is, of course, a long way to go, but we have made a good start.
The Companies Act is an important step forward on the road to better corporate accountability.
Did you know?
The Companies Bill was the biggest Bill ever to pass through Parliament, with the final version having to be printed in three separate books as it wouldn't all fit into one.
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Companies Bill verdict
(PDF† 58K) November 2006
Make business work for people and planet - Companies Bill verdict. What did we achieve through campaigning on the Companies Bill, formerlly the Company Law Reform Bill.
Company law takes a step forward
The Government has cleaned up the muddy waters of corporate transparency through changes to company law.
© Friends of the Earth