Driving impact through responsible investing

Closes:
Guest editors

Joan Fontrodona

Luk Van Wassenhove

Ivo Matser

Background:

In recent times, we have seen significant developments in responsible investing. First, the uptake of ESG criteria in finance and business in general has seen unprecedented acceleration[1]. Once considered a “niche” strategy, ESG adoption is now widespread and mainstream. The growth of responsible investing was also influenced by the 2030 Agenda and, in particular, the Paris Agreement that led to commitments to align financial flows with the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C. In the EU context, the European Green Deal[2] and the EU Sustainable Finance Taxonomy[3], building on the previous EU Action Plan on Sustainable Finance, have promoted an ambitious package of measures. Over the past year, the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic further exposed the dire need for investments supporting a resilient economy and society. Public recovery programs have been impressive[4],[5], however the scale of the investment challenge calls for the financial sector to step up, take responsibility and reorient investments to incentivize sustainable business practices, low-carbon and circular solutions, and societal wellbeing.

At the same time, data collection and corporate reporting transparency challenges remain and investors still find it difficult to direct funding to companies which represent good investments in the long-term – for both shareholders and society. Areas of concern are, for example, risks of greenwashing, potential exclusion of companies at the early stage of sustainability transitions and the reporting costs for small and medium sized companies[6]. The role of investors and their accountability has also raised social justice and equity concerns[7], and calls to ensure that sustainability issues are not instrumentalized for pure financial interests, but have real-world positive impact on the safety and wellbeing of all.

Against this backdrop, the aim of the Special Issue: “Driving impact through responsible investing” at the Journal Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal is to examine the following:

  • How to enhance positive business impact on society through responsible investing?
  • Is there alignment among business and investors on investing in sustainable activities?
  • What are the challenges and the opportunities of responsible investing?

Therefore, ABIS – The Academy of Business in Society invites academic researchers and practitioners to submit papers on:

  • ESG investing and risk management
  • ESG‐related regulatory developments
  • Transition risks
  • Responsible investing and the SDGs
  • ESG investment performance compared to non-ESG
  • ESG Engagement strategies
  • Measuring non-financial impacts
  • Corporate reporting (e.g. TCFD), accountability and ESG disclosure
  • Corporate emission reductions and hard-to-abate sectors
  • Incentives, corporate culture and long-term value creation

And other similar topics that address social and environmental sustainability challenges and the social and environmental consequences of climate change.

Submissions and review process:

Types of Submission

We welcome high-quality submissions which advance our knowledge on the abovementioned topics. We do not favour any special theoretical perspectives or methodological approaches. The types of acceptable submissions include, but are not limited to:

  • Theoretical and empirical papers
  • Literature and practice reviews
  • Qualitative, quantitative, mixed-methods research
  • Experimental research
  • ingle, multiple, large-sample case studies

For any questions please contact us at [email protected]

References:

  • Fink, L. (2021), Larry Fink's 2021 letter to CEOs, Blackrock
  • The European Green Deal, Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the European Council, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions COM(2019) 640 final
  • Regulation (EU) 2020/852 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 June 2020 on the establishment of a framework to facilitate sustainable investment, and amending Regulation (EU) 2019/2088, OJ L 198, 22.6.2020, p. 13–43
  • Recovery plan for Europe, European Commission
  • Tankersley, Jim; Crowley, Michael (January 14, 2021). “Here are the highlights of Biden's $1.9 trillion 'American Rescue Plan'The New York Times
  • Responsible Investing Summer Course, NN Investment Partners, July 2021
  • Parsa, S. (June, 2021), “Labour Rights Reporting on Global Value Chains: Accountability for whom?” Paper presented at the Research Academics as Change Makers conference of Middlesex University Business School, 25 June 2021

[1] Fink, L. (2021), Larry Fink's 2021 letter to CEOs, Blackrock

[2] The European Green Deal, Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the European Council, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions COM(2019) 640 final

[3] Regulation (EU) 2020/852 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 June 2020 on the establishment of a framework to facilitate sustainable investment, and amending Regulation (EU) 2019/2088, OJ L 198, 22.6.2020, p. 13–43

[4] Recovery plan for Europe, European Commission

[5] Tankersley, Jim; Crowley, Michael (January 14, 2021). “Here are the highlights of Biden's $1.9 trillion 'American Rescue Plan'The New York Times

[6] Responsible Investing Summer Course, NN Investment Partners, July 2021

[7] Parsa, S. (June, 2021), “Labour Rights Reporting on Global Value Chains: Accountability for whom?” Paper presented at the Research Academics as Change Makers conference of Middlesex University Business School, 25 June 2021