Corporations have to disclose the money they make and spend, but not the waste or labor conditions they create. “As a society we spend enormous resources on trying to get financial reporting right,” says George Serafeim, an assistant professor of business administration at Harvard Business School. “If as a society we think that corporations can have a role in the environmental, social, and governance space, we’d better have transparency in this space as well.”

Some 16 countries...

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