Governance by Contract: The Growth of Environmental Supply Chain Contracting


On behalf of the Environment, Energy and Natural Resources (EENR) Center at the University of Houston Law Center, I am delighted to announce forthcoming events we?ll host in the frame of our virtual lecture series on Energy Transition and Climate Governance, sponsored by the EU?s Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions, and spearheaded by Dr. Aubin Nzaou.

Our next webinar will be on March 22, 2022, at 9:00 am U.S. Central Time, and feature Professor Michael Vandenbergh (Vanderbilt University Law School) on Governance by Contract: The Growth of Environmental Supply Chain Contracting.


Corporate net zero climate commitments and environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies have the potential to bypass barriers to international, national, and subnational government action on climate change and other environmental issues. But these ESG developments also raise concerns about greenwashing. This Article evaluates a particularly pernicious form of greenwashing, which could occur if a firm?s commitments extend only to its direct operations even though most of its environmental harms arise from its supply chain. The article presents the results of a new, original empirical study that demonstrates the remarkably widespread use of environmental supply chain contracting requirements. The study finds that roughly 80% of the ten largest firms in seven global sectors include environmental requirements in supply chain contracting, a substantial increase over the 50% reported by a comparable study fifteen years ago. The Article concludes that the prevalence of environmental supply chain requirements, the types of contract requirements, and the motivations of the contracting parties can put to rest a principal greenwashing concern and signal new ways to fill important gaps in public governance.

Date and Location

Tuesday, March 22, 2022 - 10:00am to 11:00am
Address 1: 
4604 Calhoun Rd
Zip Code: