Call for Papers for a special volume on the Journal of Cleaner Production: The Role of Multinational Enterprises in Supporting the SDGs
• 大类 : 环境科学与生态学 - 1区
• 小类 : 工程：环境 - 2区
• 小类 : 环境科学 - 2区
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development were adopted in September 2015 and took effect from January 2016. They represent a common global effort to achieve a more sustainable world for all by addressing poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, prosperity, peace and justice. (UN, 2019). In order to make the SDGs easier for companies to implement, a set of 169 specific targets to be achieved over the next 15 years have been set. To achieve these goals, governments, the private sector, NGOs and individuals must all contribute. The role of the private sector in implementing the 17 SDGs is of particular importance (Witte and Dilyard, 2017). Successful implementation of the SDGs will require businesses not only to comply with the guidelines, but also to internalize their ideals. The market power, policy influence, and reach of multinational enterprises (MNEs) make those organizations of critical importance to SDG implementation. (Kolk, Kourula & Pisani, 2017). MNEs have already identified SDG-related risks and opportunities that can impact profitability and long-term performance. According to CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project), a UK-based organization which measures environmental impacts, major MNEs have identified SDG-related risks. For example, Coca-Cola is concerned about the impact of climate change on clean water sources, Bank of America is considering the impact of increased flooding on mortgage payments, Delta Airlines has considered delaying new aircraft purchases because of carbon credits, and Nike is tracking the increased volatility in the cotton market caused by less predictable weather patterns. The global concerns addressed by the SDGs create both opportunities and risks throughout the value chain. According to Better Business, Better World report (BSDC, 2017), embracing the SDGs by 2030 could generate over twelve trillion dollars in new business value each year.
There is a significant and growing body of research on the critical topics which actually predates the SDGs. Past literature has focused on the linkages between MNEs and specific SDGs like inequality (Goal 10), poverty (Goal 1), clean energy (Goal 7), climate change (Goal 13), peace (Goal 16) and natural resources (Goal 12). The debate on how MNEs affect national economies goes back to the early years of UNCATD. (Chelekis & Mudambi, 2010), examined the activities of MNEs in the direct sales industry in the Brazilian Amazon. (Fortanier & Van Wijk, 2010) analyzed how foreign firms in the hotel industry of Mozambique, Tanzania and Ethiopia changed the quantity and quality of local employment. Van de Vliert (2003) focused on under or overpayment of employees as related to national economic development. Other researchers have studied topics such as the relationship between corporate reputation and MNEs involvement in the least developed countries (Musteen, Rhyne and Zheng, 2013), economic and social issues of accelerating globalization (Lévy, 2007) and the paradoxical relationship between MNE current strategies and economic development (Yamin & Sinkovics, 2009).
The role MNEs play in mitigating climate change has taken a very important place in the scientific literature. Kolk and Pinkse (2008) explain how climate change offers MNEs an opportunity to develop “green” firm-specific advantages and enable them to reconfigure key FSAs; and in a later paper, how climate change affects MNEs themselves in very immediate tangible ways (Pinkse & Kolk, 2012). Shinkle & Spencer (2012) address changing expectations of global corporate citizen regarding climate change.
Extensive research has been published on the relationship between MNEs and civil conflict in the countries where they operate (Lee, 1993), terrorism (Barnes & Oloruntoba, 2005), crisis management (Jallat & Shultz, 2011), terrorism-induced stress on expatriate attitudes and performance (Bader & Berg, 2013), as well as the role of geography in MNEs’ choice of location in countries afflicted by political conflict (Dai, Eden, & Beamish, 2013).
Issues related to the role of MNEs to reduce inequality in host countries has been addressed in the past. Figini & Görg (1999) and Taylor & Driffield (2005) explored the impact of MNEs on wage inequality among workers within various industry sectors in MNEs’ chosen host countries. Other research which addressed the issue of inequality include; the manner and level in which foreign direct investment (Jensen & Rosas, 2007) is conducted; Clark, Highfill, de Oliveira Campino, & Rehman, 2011) exploitation of natural resources (Asiedu & Lien, 2011; Asiedu, 2006) and the impact on democracy (Busse, 2003; Kucera & Principi, 2014).
The impacts of MNEs' on human rights and civil liberties in developing countries has also received significant attention from researchers in recent years. Meyer (1996) found that the presence of MNEs in the third world is positively correlated with political rights and civil liberties, whereas Kinley & Joseph (2002) found that “while there is considerable scope for that impact to be positive, corporate activity is often perceived to have had, and has had, a detrimental impact on human rights protection.”
Since the adoption of the 17 SDGs in 2015, it has become evident that MNEs require more research of the role in the transfer of SDG-related best business practices. In 2017, the Transnational Corporations journal devoted a special issue (volume 24, number 3) seeking to fill in the blanks in the literature by asking, “how do MNEs contribute to the SDGs and, more importantly, to identify future research directions for scholars?” This special issue addressed aspects of SDGs’ implementation; covering topics such as the opportunity for MNEs to improve their CSR engagement (Schonherr, Findler, & Martinuzzi, 2017) and to enhance their legitimacy (Donoher, 2017), to clarify the stream of benefits for MNEs willing to incorporate and use measurable international sustainability standards and guidelines; in short, to better incorporate SDGs within their practices (Topple, Donovan, Masli, & Borgert, 2017), possible ways for MNEs to adopt gender equality and woman empowerment policy (Terpstra-Tong, 2017), and the broad swath of policy areas for action to support progress towards the SDGs for MNEs (Hendriks, 2017), effectiveness of microfinance lending (Arp, Ardisa, & Ardisa, 2017), and also the importance of mining codes to line the mining industry practices in closer fit with SDGs (Travis, Selmier, & Newenham-Kahindi, 2017).
Most recent research bearing on SDGs’ implementation has been published in the last two years (Van Zanten, & Van Tulder, 2018; Rosati, & Faria, 2019) deserving close attention in defining a research agenda. Since 2015, significant progress has been reported: some MNEs have already firmly embedded SDGs in a corporate policy framework: (Janoušková, Hák & Moldan, 2018) and others are catching up. We are witnessing the advent of a widespread awareness of the holistic and interconnected nature of the SDGs and the resulting and the conceptualizing of a corporate strategic framework to capture opportunities and rethink business models. There have been various attempts to create indices, like a composite SDG index, to emphasize the achievement of lower-performed goals (Diaz‐Sarachaga, Jato‐Espino, & Castro‐Fresno, 2018) but sustainability assessment remains challenging (Janoušková, Hák & Moldan, 2018).
In the wake of the SDGs’ adoption, despite some encouraging results, no country is on track to achieve all SDGs by the 2030 deadline. Many MNEs use the language of the SDGs without making substantial changes to their business practices. Many MNEs encounter difficulties to align their business strategy with the SDGs and integrate them into sustainability reports. To grasp the phenomenon, studies of multinational sustainability activities have not yet reached critical mass (Donoher, 2017) and the SDGs’ impacts on MNEs, lack clarity on a global scale to justify significant policy shifts (Kolk, Kourula, & Pisani, 2017).
The purpose of this Virtual Special Issue (VSI) is to stimulate inter-, multi- and transdisciplinary discussions on how MNEs can implement SDGs most relevant to their core strategies. The objective is to encourage studies and practices linking disciplines, knowledge systems, and stakeholders to support a more sustainable business model for the short and more importantly long-term. Also, solutions-oriented studies are very much welcome.
This issue also seeks to identify and test new implementation models, policy frameworks, and better practices of MNEs, thereby contributing to making societies more sustainable. It also seeks to consider how the transition to truly equitable, sustainable, post-fossil carbon societies can be accelerated and, in so doing, reduce, avoid and reverse further deleterious climate effects. Understanding both negative and positive roles that MNEs could play in addressing and reducing climate change impacts while, at the same time, gaining a deeper grasp of the factors affecting their behaviors. As such, this issue sheds more light on how political, economic, social, educational and regulatory institutions can develop collaborative practices with business actors.
This VSI is innovative, for it addresses the latest scientific and technical breakthroughs and the best MNEs practices thus far accumulated. Designed to solicit high-quality scholarly papers, it expands and integrates the knowledge base for academics, practitioners, consultants and business leaders with an interest in different aspects of SDGs’ implementation, by proposing relevant frameworks, and effective levers of action. If further studies seek to highlight how better practices will assist collaborative border-crossing operations, as private actors reconcile their major objectives in the framework to envision the future.
In addition to traditional academic articles, Guest Editors welcome contributions exploring the manner in which MNEs contribute, in countries where they operate, to alleviating poverty and hunger, ensuring equitable education for all, achieving gender equity, sustainable management of water resources, offering decent working conditions in a global talent market, fostering sustainable innovations, production and consumption, combating global warming, or conserving scarce resources. Finally, Guest Editors invite original contributions that go beyond the dominant discourse and practices on integrating SDGs in business planning by exploring new approaches and pathways bridging the economic, political, ecological and social spheres. Papers for consideration can present different approaches and methods: theoretical reflections, analytical models and frameworks, literature reviews, monographs, and case studies.