Creating Business and Societal Value Through Sustainable Development Goals in Times of Crisis



Over the last two decades, the world has experienced a series of global crises, such as the dot-com bubble, global supply chain disruption, the 9/11 terrorist incident, the 2007-2008 economic and financial crisis, several devastating natural disasters and climate crises, severe political coups, and most recently, the ongoing covid-19 pandemic crisis (e.g., Helleiner, 2011; Ivanov, 2020; Sajjad, 2021; Wright and Nyberg, 2017). While these crises may differ in their origins and scales, they all severely disrupted business activities, caused large losses of assets and/or human capital, and significantly impeded economic growth, corporate responsibility, and most importantly the progress in achieving sustainable development goals (SDGs) (e.g., Baker et al., 2022; Blomberg, Hess, and Orphanides, 2004; Eisensee and Strömberg, 2007; Gallego‐Álvarez et al., 2014; Ibn-Mohammed et al., 2021; Kahn, 2005; Singh et al., 2021). Such crises have made sustainability, corporate governance, and resilience among the most attention-grabbing issues in the corporate world (e.g., Anwar et al., 2021; Ding et al., 2021; Flammer and Ioannou, 2021; Koutoupis et al., 2021; Olawumi and Chan, 2018; Schneider et al., 2010; Wenzel et al., 2020; Wu and Kong, 2021; Zattoni and Pugliese, 2021).

Sustainability is a broad concept, and how to define sustainability remains a hot debate topic (e.g., Barbier, 1987; Dresner, 2012; Glavič and Lukman, 2007; Lubin and Esty, 2010). Nonetheless, in the business world, sustainability is conceptualized as “meeting the needs of the firm’s direct and indirect stakeholders (such as shareholders, employees, clients, pressure groups, communities, etc.) without comprising its ability to meet the needs of future stakeholders as well” (Dyllick and Hockerts, 2002, p. 131). The concept of sustainability acknowledges the profitability imperative; however, at the same time, it emphasizes the importance of simultaneously achieving environmental, social, and economic goals (Elkington, 1994; Epstein et al., 2018). As such, the United Nations has proposed 17 SDGs that suggest strategies to spur economic growth, reduce inequality, and promote health and education while tackling climate change and other sources of global risks (United Nations, 2020).

As one of the most in-demand sustainability-related areas, green finance and sustainable investments consider not only financial objectives but also environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria (Pastor et al., 2022; Marshall et al., 2021; Heinkel et al., 2001). Capital market participants, for example, incorporate a corporation's environmental profile and sustainability ratings into their financing decisions, credit risk assessments, investment choices, and other important economic decisions (e.g., Chava, 2014; Bolton and Kacperczyk, 2021; Gillan et al., 2021; Marshall et al., 2021). Investors’ rewards for environmental responsibility become more pronounced during times of crisis such as the global financial crisis (2007-2008) and the recent COVID-19 pandemic (e.g., Lins et al., 2017; Albuquerque et al., 2020; Ding et al., 2021; Garel and Petit-Romec, 2021). According to the 2018 Global Sustainable Investment Review, sustainable investing assets exceeded $30 trillion globally and more than 2,600 organizations have become signatories to the United Nations Principles of Responsible Investment (PRI hereafter) according to the 2019 Annual Report of the PRI. Interest in sustainability and ESG-related issues from the corporate perspective is also featured by the Governance & Accountability Institute which, in 2018, reported that 86% of S&P 500 firms released sustainability or corporate responsibility reports compared with just under 20% in 2011 (Gillan et al., 2021). Given this rapid growth and increasing importance, the effects of green finance and sustainable investing on both financial objectives, corporate behavior, and social outcomes are important to understand and hence urge comprehensive investigation.

Mukhi and Quental (2019) argued that SDGs represent a powerful framework for promoting ethics, CSR, and sustainability as well as fostering other desirable actions to achieve a more sustainable world. Nonetheless, to date, our understanding of the multi-dimensional implications of global crises on business activities and governance practices, and more importantly, how to promote and achieve SDGs and business resilience in times of crisis remains largely under-explored. The goal of this special issue is to advance the current understanding of various impacts of global crises on sustainable development and corporate governance practices, uncover shields that can defend against value destruction caused by global crises, and promote factors for more resilient societies during and post-global crises. This special issue welcomes diverse methodological approaches, such as empirical, theoretical, and experimental research, and systematic reviews.

Topics of Interest:

We welcome all aspects of research on sustainability, business resilience, and governance in times of crises, which include but are not limited to:

  • SDGs and the role of business
  • The role of business leadership in fostering a sustainable post-covid-19 recovery
  • Business sustainability, corporate governance, and resilience in times of crises
  • Strategic business responses to strengthen SDGs implementation
  • Circular economy, business resilience and climate change
  • Sustainable operations and supply chain management in times of crisis
  • Sustainable financing, green investments, or socially responsible investing
  • Sustainability accounting and reporting (ESG reporting) before, during and after the Covid-19 crisis
  • Agenda for the sustainability of business in the new normal


Submissions are made using ScholarOne Manuscripts. Registration and access are available here.

Author guidelines must be strictly followed. Please see:  journal’s author guidelines here.

Authors should select (from the drop-down menu) the special issue title at the appropriate step in the submission process, i.e. in response to ““Please select the issue you are submitting to”. 

Submitted articles must not have been previously published, nor should they be under consideration for publication anywhere else, while under review for this journal.

Key Dates: 

  • Submission Open: January 1, 2023
  • Deadline for paper submission: April 30, 2023
  • Reviewers’ first report: June 30, 2023
  • Revised paper submissions: October 30, 2023
  • Expected formal publication date (print and online): January 2024


The deadline for submissions is April 30, 2023. Submitted articles should be consistent with the aims and scope of the journal. Please direct inquiries to:
Dr. Mia Pham (
[email protected])
Dr. Aymen Sajjad
([email protected]).

Articles for this special issue will be processed for publication as they are accepted. The special issue will be published as a virtual special issue or article collection.

Guest Editors:

Dr. Aymen Sajjad (Massey University, New Zealand)
[email protected]

Dr. Mia Pham (Massey University, New Zealand)[email protected]

Dr. Harvey Nguyen (Massey University, New Zealand)
[email protected]


Albuquerque, R., Koskinen, Y., Yang, S., & Zhang, C. (2020). Resiliency of environmental and social stocks: An analysis of the exogenous COVID-19 market crash. The Review of Corporate Finance Studies, 9(3), 593-621.

Anwar, A., Coviello, N., and Rouziou, M. (2022), “Weathering a Crisis: A multi-Level analysis of resilience in young ventures”, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, DOI: 10.1177/10422587211046545.

Baker, S. R., Bloom, N., and Terry, S. J. (2022), “Using disasters to estimate the impact of uncertainty, National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)” Working Paper (No. w27167), The Review of Economic Studies, DOI 10.3386/w27167.

Barbier, E. B. (1987), “The concept of sustainable economic development”. Environmental Conservation, Vol 14 No. 2, pp. 101-110.

Blomberg, S. B., Hess, G. D., and Orphanides, A. (2004), “The macroeconomic consequences of terrorism”. Journal of Monetary Economics, Vol. 51 No. 5, pp. 1007-1032.

Bolton, P., and Kacperczyk, M. (2021). Do investors care about carbon risk?. Journal of Financial Economics, 142(2), 517-549.

Chava, S. (2014). Environmental externalities and cost of capital. Management Science, 60(9), 2223-2247.

Ding, W., Levine, R., Lin, C., and Xie, W. (2021), “Corporate immunity to the COVID-19 pandemic”, Journal of Financial Economics, Vol. 141 No. 2, pp. 802-830.

Dresner, S. (2012), “The principles of sustainability”, Routledge.

Dyllick, T., and Hockerts, K. (2002), “Beyond the business case for corporate sustainability”, Business Strategy and the Environment, Vol. 11 No. 2, pp. 130-141.

Eisensee, T., and Strömberg, D. (2007), “News droughts, news floods, and US disaster relief”. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. 122 No. 2, pp. 693-728

Elkington, J. (1994), “Towards the sustainable corporation: Win-win-win business strategies for sustainable development”, California Management Review, Vol. 36 No. 2, pp. 90-100.

Epstein, M. J., Elkington, J., and Herman, B. (2018), “Making sustainability work: Best practices in managing and measuring corporate social, environmental and economic impacts”, Routledge.

Flammer, C., and Ioannou, I. (2021), “Strategic management during the financial crisis: How firms adjust their strategic investments in response to credit market disruptions”, Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 42 No. 7, pp. 1275-1298.

Gallego‐Álvarez, I., García‐Sánchez, I. M., and da Silva Vieira, C. (2014), “Climate change and financial performance in times of crisis”, Business Strategy and the Environment, Vol. 23 No. 6, pp. 361-374.

Garel, A., and Petit-Romec, A. (2021). Investor rewards to environmental responsibility: Evidence from the COVID-19 crisis. Journal of Corporate Finance, 68, 101948.

Gillan, S. L., Koch, A., and Starks, L. T. (2021). Firms and social responsibility: A review of ESG and CSR research in corporate finance. Journal of Corporate Finance, 66, 101889.

Glavič, P., and Lukman, R. (2007), “Review of sustainability terms and their definitions”, Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol. 15 No. 18, pp. 1875-1885.

Heinkel, R., Kraus, A., and Zechner, J. (2001). The effect of green investment on corporate behavior. Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, 36(4), 431-449.

Helleiner, E. (2011), “Understanding the 2007–2008 global financial crisis: Lessons for scholars of international political economy”, Annual Review of Political Science, Vol. 14, pp. 67-87.

Ibn-Mohammed, T., Mustapha, K. B., Godsell, J., Adamu, Z., Babatunde, K. A., Akintade, D. D., ... and Koh, S. C. L. (2021), “A critical analysis of the impacts of COVID-19 on the global economy and ecosystems and opportunities for circular economy strategies”. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, Vol. 164, 105169.

Ivanov, D. (2020), “Predicting the impacts of epidemic outbreaks on global supply chains: A simulation-based analysis on the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2) case”, Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Vol.136, 101922.

Kahn, M.E. (2005), “The death toll from natural disasters: The role of income, geography, and institutions”, The Review of Economics and Statistics, Vol. 87 No. 2, pp. 271–284.

Koutoupis, A., Kyriakogkonas, P., Pazarskis, M. and Davidopoulos, L. (2021), "Corporate governance and COVID-19: a literature review", Corporate Governance, Vol. 21 No. 6, pp. 969-982.

Lins, K. V., Servaes, H., and Tamayo, A. (2017). Social capital, trust, and firm performance: The value of corporate social responsibility during the financial crisis. The Journal of Finance, 72(4), 1785-1824.

Lubin, D. A., and Esty, D. C. (2010), “The sustainability imperative”, Harvard Business Review, Vol. 88 No. 5, pp. 42-50.

Marshall, B. R., Nguyen, H. T., Nguyen, N. H., Visaltanachoti, N., and Young, M. (2021). Do climate risks matter for green investment?. Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, 75, 101438.

Mukhi, U. and Quental, C. (2019), "Exploring the challenges and opportunities of the United Nations sustainable development goals: a dialogue between a climate scientist and management scholars", Corporate Governance, Vol. 19 No. 3, pp. 552-564.

Olawumi, T. O., and Chan, D. W. (2018), “A scientometric review of global research on sustainability and sustainable development”, Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol. 183, pp. 231-250.

Pástor, Ľ., Stambaugh, R. F., and Taylor, L. A. (2021). Sustainable investing in equilibrium. Journal of Financial Economics, 142(2), 550-571.

Sajjad, A. (2021), "The COVID-19 pandemic, social sustainability and global supply chain resilience: a review", Corporate Governance, Vol. 21 No. 6, pp. 1142-1154.

Schneider, F., Kallis, G., amd Martinez-Alier, J. (2010), “Crisis or opportunity? Economic degrowth for social equity and ecological sustainability”, Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol. 18 No. 6, pp. 511-518.

Singh, S., Kumar, R., Panchal, R., and Tiwari, M. K. (2021), “Impact of COVID-19 on logistics systems and disruptions in food supply chain”, International Journal of Production Research, Vol. 59 No. 7, pp.1993-2008.

United Nation (2020), “The 2030 agenda for sustainable development”, Available at

Wu, M. and Kong, K. (2021), "Business strategies responding to COVID-19: experience of Chinese corporations", Corporate Governance, Vol. 21 No. 6, pp. 1072-1099.

Wright, C., and Nyberg, D. (2017), “An inconvenient truth: How organizations translate climate change into business as usual”, Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 60 No. 5, pp. 1633-1661.

Zattoni, A., and Pugliese, A. (2021), “Corporate governance research in the wake of a systemic crisis: Lessons and opportunities from the COVID‐19 pandemic”, Journal of Management Studies, Vol. 58 No. 5, pp. 1405-1410.