The proposals of the patron of the Michelin guide and the founder of Vigeo must feed the law Covenant, brought by Bruno Le Maire. Not shy on the horizon.
How to balance enterprise with the general interest? It is with this letter of ambitious mission that Jean-Dominique Sénard, president of Michelin, and Nicole Notat, president of the company extra-financial rating Vigéo, have worked since mid-January, the drafting of recommendations. They come to make their report to the government on 9 march.
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The measures that they advocate are non-trivial. But they started not great shy as some would have hoped, to escape from the logic of the short-term as dictated by the shareholders.Your support is essential. Subscribe for $ 1 support Us
An amendment to the civil code
First proposal, to add a paragraph to article 1833 of the civil code. It would stipulate that "the company must be managed in its own interest, considering the social and environmental challenges of its activities". The corporate social responsibility (CSR) made its entrance in the civil code, which applies theoretically to all businesses.
Regarding the notion of "self-interest", the authors of the report believe obviously that it is enough to ensure that the interests of the partners are not the only ones to be taken into account. The formulation has been extensively debated, and subject to the interpretation of law professors and "judicial authority", stressed Jean-Dominique Sénard.
the Priority has been given to legal certainty. Point the notion of "stakeholders" in the chosen terms, for example. The employers ' organisations had quickly expressed their fears on this subject. They feared that only opens a box of pandhore and that of employees, suppliers, consumers, NGOS, etc. get in mass to bring a complaint against the officers for negligence of management or the abuse of social goods.
A change in the code of commerce
a Second indication of Jean-Dominique Sénard, and Nicole Notat, to register in the commercial code the fact that "the board of directors determines the orientations of the activity of the company in reference to the raison d'être of the company and oversees their implementation, in accordance with article 1833 of the civil code." This implies that firms develop a "reason to be", like that was... Michelin ("Offer everyone the best way to move forward"). "This concept of 'reason', we value it a lot because it is the DNA of the company, and which creates the commitment of the teams," insisted the leader of the production group of tires.
It was a question also to see how, beyond the label "B Corp" (a global label for a responsible economy), develop in france "the enterprise mission", which is to establish objectives other than profit. It has been chosen not to create a particular status. The "business mission" to the French would be the companies deciding to bluntly register their "reason for being" in their statutes. They would then have certain obligations such as establishing a "committee of stakeholders" (and verifying the application of the mission) or to make a declaration of extra-financial performance.
The recording of the reason to be in the articles of association would need to pursue social or environmental objectives opposable to third parties, and in particular to shareholders. Knowing that the governing bodies would retain the opportunity to review the statutes. A company's mission would, therefore, not necessarily ad vitam.
For the SMES who would like to engage particularly in the CSR, the report encourages the creation of labels CSR sector in the professional branches. It is precisely this that tend to put in place the social partners (except the Medef, which has refused to join in the work), under the impetus of the CPME.
No of employees directors below the threshold of 1000
Side governance, the authors suggest thin advanced: not, as would the CFDT, the lower the threshold of 1,000 employees from which it must be of employees in the boards of directors or supervisory. Just introduce a little more proportionality, with three directors employees when the board has at least 16 members. They suggest a balance sheet in 12 to 24 months, to decide, then, a possible increase in the power of the device.
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the recommendations of The report Sénard-Notat vocation, if the government decides to retain them, to be included in the draft law Covenant scheduled for April 18.