Corporate Sustainability Reforms: Securing Market Actors' Contribution to Global Sustainability

We need the contribution of all market actors: business, citizens, investors, and the public sector to acheive sustainability. However, a number of barriers, gaps and incoherencies that prevents market actors from contributing has been identified by the SMART Project. At this conference we will discuss how to facilitate the transistion to sustainability, with the aim of idenitfying concrete proposals. Look forward to seeing you there!

The SMART report Obstacles to Global Sustainable Business (2018) identifies significant obstacles standing between European businesses, investors and financial institutions, public procurers and consumers, and their contribution to sustainable development.

A research-based approach to sustainability is needed to achieve policy coherence and to implement the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SMART has identified that alongside the SDGs there are several laudable initiatives for sustainability at the international, as well as EU, level but these are currently insufficient in the face of shareholder primacy, the widespread but legally incorrect assumption that the purpose of the corporation and the core duty of the corporate board is to maximise returns to investors. The short-term pressure for maximisation of financial returns to investors, together with a general tendency to see economic growth as a main policy target (rather than a means to an end), is an impediment to sustainability. Together with silo-thinking and path-dependent, outdated economic models, this is keeping us on a track towards an unsustainable future.

Many business models are still based on overconsumption. The lack of relevant, reliable and verified information on sustainability impacts across global value chains is a hindrance to businesses and sustainability-oriented investors. It also acts as a barrier for sustainability-oriented citizens as consumers and workers and for the public sector when acting as procurer.

With this backdrop, we have invited contributions from any relevant discipline, as well as transdisciplinary proposals. We expect contributions concentrating on international questions, on aspects concerning the EU and the Member States, and proposals aimed directly at the market actors, as well as comparative contributions from other parts of the world.

A detailed programme will follow for this full-day conference, which will be open to all interested including scholars, policy-makers, students and practitioners. Hold the date – or register here already today.


Published May 23, 2019 1:06 PM - Last modified June 4, 2019 8:29 AM