Jan 30, 2024

“Sustainable global supply chains in times of geopolitical crises” Annual Report 2023

The overarching topic of this year's report is "The Role of Geopolitics in Global Supply Chains", highlighting ways in which recent geopolitical and geo-economic developments are shaping and influencing current debates and policy processes around global supply chains (GSCs). Following...

Publication

Jan 19, 2024
Mike Morris

Chinese Firms and Adherence to Global Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Standards in Developing Countries: Is there Potential to Create Common Ground?

This paper focuses on analysing how Chinese firms operate in Latin America, Asia and Africa in regard to ESG (environmental, social and governance) standards and sustainability issues. How do they respond to the increasing global value chain requirement to incorporate and maintain ESG standards? Is ...

Publication

Aug 31, 2023
Philip Schleifer and Luc Fransen

Towards a Smart Mix 2.0? Understanding Political Dynamics of Heterogeneity and Integration in Sustainable Supply Chain Governance

The adoption of new due diligence regulations in the European Union (EU) and other advanced economies has further increased the heterogeneity of global supply chain governance. In a recent study (Schleifer and Fransen 2022), we evaluate calls for a “smart mix 2.0” that combines public regulation...


Jun 12, 2023
Inga Carry, Melanie Müller, Nadine Godehardt

The Future of European-Chinese Raw Material Supply Chains

When it comes to being supplied with raw materials, Europe faces a number of chal­lenges. These include the diversification of European supply chains, the implementation of effective sustainability standards, and the reduction of strategic dependencies on China. What will European-Chinese raw mater...

Publication

Apr 21, 2023

What is the effect of environmental standards on agricultural value chains?

Mangos or rice, chocolate or even wood - just to mention a few agricultural products that are heavily exported from several countries in the Global South to the Global North. A growing number of them are grown, harvested and processed in line with environmental standards and labels. These standards ...


Jan 1, 2023
Melanie Müller, Christina Saulich, Meike Schulze, Svenja Schöneich

From Competition to a Sustainable Raw Materials Diplomacy

German and European businesses are highly dependent on metals. Demand for these raw materials is expected to grow even further as they will be needed for the green energy and electric mobility tran­sition, digitalisation and other emerging technologies. Geopolitical developments influence securi...

Publication

Nov 22, 2022
Franziska Ollendorf, Goodlet Ansah

Local Cocoa Marketing under Pressure: Sustainability certification and new forms of competition in Ghana’s cocoa industry

In the context of persisting sustainability challenges in the Global Cocoa-Chocolate Chain (GCCC), sustainability certification gained momentum as a major industry response. While much research has been undertaken regarding the effects of certification schemes on farming practices and farmers’ liv...

Publication

Sep 15, 2022
Philip Schleifer and Luc Fransen

Towards a Smart Mix 2.0 – Harnessing Regulatory Heterogeneity for Sustainable Global Supply Chains

Over the past three decades, efforts to address human rights and environmental risks in global supply chains have spurred a plethora of industry self-regulation, third-party certification schemes, voluntary due diligence guidelines, and mandatory supply chain regulations. The resulting heterogeneity...

Publication

Sep 15, 2022
Philip Schleifer

Varieties of multi-stakeholder governance: selecting legitimation strategies in transnational sustainability politics

Multi-stakeholder initiatives (MSIs) are often referred to as the ‘gold standard’ of private governance. However, existing MSIs vary strongly in their institutional designs and the ways in which they use inclusiveness, procedural fairness and, expert-based strategies to create legitimacy for the...

Publication

Sep 15, 2022
Philip Schleifer, Yixian Sun

Reviewing the impact of sustainability certification on food security in developing countries

What is the impact of sustainability certification on food security in developing countries? This article explores the issue through a systematic review of the extant scholarship, complemented by a selective review of key studies examining the wider socio-economic effects of certification that may a...

Publication

Sep 15, 2022
Philip Schleifer, Clara Brandi, Rupal Verma, Katharina Bissinger, Matteo Fiorini

Voluntary standards and the SDGs: Mapping public-private complementarities for sustainable development

To strengthen global sustainability governance, academics and policymakers have called for a better integration of private governance with public policy instruments. Surprisingly, however, systematic research on the state of such public-private complementarities in the field of sustainable developme...

Publication

Jun 28, 2022
Bettina Rudloff

Sustainable international value chains: The EU’s new due diligence approach as part of a policy mix

A new family of regulatory approaches affecting international value chains has been initiated recently, mainly by developed countries, the Due Diligence Laws (DDLs). These new approaches are an addition to already existing (and partially) older trade measures that have already been adapted in the pa...

Publication

Apr 5, 2022

Sustainable Global Supply Chains Report 2022

Global supply chains affect the economy, the environment and social welfare in many ways. Worldwide, economies are experiencing global supply shortages today, affecting key industries such as automotive and consumer electronics as well as vaccine and medical supplies industries. These preoccupy poli...

Publication

Mar 25, 2022
Janina Grabs, Federico Cammelli, Sam Levy, and Rachael Garrett

How to find synergies between effectiveness and equity when designing supply chain sustainability policies

Companies with global supply chains are under growing pressure to ensure that their activities and sourcing patterns abroad do not contribute to environmental degradation and human rights abuses. In response, many businesses create supply chain sustainability policies. Such company-internal schemes,...


Feb 18, 2022
Larissa Rodrigues

Brazil exports illegal gold: How to tackle the problem

Brazil exported over 19 tons of illegal gold in 2020, exposing the markets of Canada, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and others to the impacts illegal activities bring especially to the Amazon rainforest and indigenous peoples. Adequate controls of gold origin are non-existent in the country enabl...


Jan 1, 2022
Hannes Grohs, Jan Grumiller, Werner Raza

Resilience in Sustainable Global Supply Chains: Evidence and Policy Recommendations

The COVID-19 pandemic-induced lockdowns and export restrictions highlighted the vulnerability of global trade and global value chains (GVCs). What is more, many commentators argue that the likelihood of exogenous shocks that threaten international trade and GVCs, such as natural disasters, pandemics...

Publication

Jan 1, 2022
Inga Carry, Günther Maihold

Illegal logging, timber laundering and the global illegal timber trade

Deforestation claims an estimated 10 million hectares each year (FAO 2020). Today’s global demand for timber products1 simply cannot be met by legal, sustainable forestry anymore. The competition for cheap wood products on the global timber market has become a major driver of i...

Publication

Jan 1, 2022
Günther Maihold, Fabian Mühlhöfer

Supply Chain Instability Threatens Security of Supplies

The Covid pandemic has severely upset global supply chains. This disruption has now spread to many branches of industry, and consumers are starting to feel the impact. No short-term improvement is in sight, which has serious implications for manufac­turing processes all over the world. To begin wit...

Publication

Sep 16, 2021
Holger Görg, Jann Lay, Stefan Pahl, Adnan Seric, Frauke Steglich, Liubov Yaroshenko

Multilateral coordination and exchange for sustainable global value chains

While participation in global value chains (GVCs) is widely associated with benefits for countries’ development and growth, its environmental and social costs become increasingly evident. Representing core buyer and supplier countries in GVCs, the G20 is particularly suited to tackle this global c...

Publication

May 1, 2021
Joseph Sarkis

Mandating Sustainable Governance of the Supply Chain – Complementing Old Carrots with New Sticks?

In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, supply chain challenges have received renewed attention and have become a major concern from both resilience (Golan et al., 2020) and sustainability (Sarkis, 2021) perspectives. For example – based on its Green Deal – the European Union (EU) is considering the...


Jan 1, 2021
Julia Schwarzkopf, Klaus Fischer, Martin Müller

Success factors of voluntary sustainable supply chain management sector initiatives

Sustainability can create greater efficiency and cost savings in the supply chain. Supply chains, which are more complex and global than ever before, are full of both risks and opportunities. The risks range from inconsistent or poor quality to supply disruptions to health and safety concerns to cor...

Publication

Jan 1, 2021
Almut Schilling-Vacaflor, Andrea Lenschow, Edward Challies, Benedetta Cotta, Jens Newig

Contextualizing certification and auditing: Soy certification and access of local communities to land and water in Brazil

The massive expansion of soy production in Brazil has contributed to a loss of access for local communities to land and water, particularly in highly dynamic frontier regions in the Cerrado. Soy certification standards like the Roundtable on Responsible Soy (RTRS) contain principles that are suppose...

Publication

Jan 1, 2021
Günther Maihold.; Melanie Müller.; Christina Saulich.; Svenja Schöneich

Responsibility in Supply Chains – Germany’s Due Diligence Act Is a Good Start

On 3 March, the Federal Cabinet adopted an act on corporate due diligence in supply chains. This represents an important step towards German businesses assuming full and proper responsibility for the supply chains associated with their goods and services. The move puts Germany in a group of European...

Publication

Jan 1, 2020
Adriana Erthal Abdenur

Protecting archaeological sites in the Amazon is essential for environmental wellbeing

Raging fires, expanding mineral extraction and land clearing for agribusiness are not only destroying Amazonian lands and biodiversity, they are also eradicating fundamental knowledge on land stewardship. Climate diplomacy has a key role to play in protecting archaeological sites that preserve lesso...

Publication

Jan 1, 2020
Bissinger, Katharina, Clara Brandi, Sandra Cabrera de Leicht, Matteo Fiorini, Schleifer Schleifer, Santiago Fernandez de Cordova, Niematallah Ahmed

Linking Voluntary Standards to Sustainable Development Goals

With the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the United Nations has called on the private sector to contribute more to achieving the sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This report helps decision makers in the public and private sectors to understand where voluntary sustainability standards a...

Publication

Jan 1, 2020
Maria-Therese Gustafsson; Roger Merino; Martin Scurrah

Domestication of International Norms for Sustainable Resource Governance: Elite Capture in Peru

In recent years, international actors have promoted international norms related to sustainable and inclusive resource governance. However, we know little about how such attempts are contested and adapted in domestic reform processes. Drawing on insights from norm diffusion and institutionalist theor...

Publication

Jan 1, 2020
Adriana Erthal Abdenur

How Can Artificial Intelligence Help Curb Deforestation in the Amazon?

Deforestation has traditionally been viewed as an environmental issue, but, increasingly, illegal logging in rainforests is being understood as an issue of transnational organized crime. Forests cover 31 percent of the planet, are home to 80 percent of the world’s terrestrial species of animals an...

Publication

Jan 1, 2020
Bettina Rudloff, Christine Wieck

Sustainable Supply Chains in the Agricultural Sector: Adding Value Instead of Just Exporting Raw Materials

The corona pandemic has placed supply chains back on the agenda. The economic repercussions spotlight the complexity of today’s global division of labour. Current German and European initiatives are seeking to tighten the responsibility of final business consumers for human rights and sustainabili...

Publication

Jan 1, 2020
Iain J. Fraser, Martin Müller, Julia Schwarzkopf

Transparency for Multi-Tier Sustainable Supply Chain Management: A Case Study of a Multi-tier Transparency Approach for SSCM in the Automotive Industry

Sustainability in supply chain management (SSCM) has become established in both academia and increasingly in practice. As stakeholders continue to require focal companies (FCs) to take more responsibility for their entire supply chains (SCs), this has led to the development of multi-tier SSCM (MT-SS...

Publication

Jan 1, 2020
Bettina Rudloff

A Stable Countryside for a Stable Country? The Effects of a DCFTA with the EU on Tunisian Agriculture

Agriculture is central to the stability of Tunisia’s economy and society. The new Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) under negotiation with the EU offers opportunities for the agricultural sector, but also presents risks for the country as a whole. Within Tunisia there is strong e...

Publication

Jan 1, 2020
Melanie Müller

Versorgungssicherheit: Marktdynamiken und Machtverschiebungen einplanen

Die Covid-19-Pandemie und der von ihr verursachte Einbruch des globalen Handels haben in verschiedenen Weltregionen eine Debatte über Abhängigkeiten von globalen Lieferbeziehungen entfacht. Mittlerweile deuten sich geographische Machtverschiebungen in Lieferketten an. Noch ist ungewiss, wie sich d...

Publication

Jan 1, 2020
Anthony Goerzen, Simon Peter Iskander, Joerg Hofstetter

The effect of institutional pressures on business-led interventions to improve social compliance among emerging market suppliers in global value chains

Emerging market governments are incented to attract global value chain (GVC) activities to fuel economic growth. At the same time, in light of real and perceived workplace-related injustices within emerging markets, GVC lead firms are under pressure to improve social standard compliance within their...

Publication

Jan 1, 2020
Iain J. Fraser, Julia Schwarzkopf, Martin Müller

Exploring Supplier Sustainability Audit Standards: Potential for and Barriers to Standardization

Global focal companies are increasingly required and expected to monitor the sustainability risks and activities in their supply chains, which has resulted in increasing supplier sustainability audit activity and growth in the number of sustainability initiatives/associations. While common, shared a...

Publication

Jan 1, 2019
LONE RIISGAARD, PETER LUND‐THOMSEN, NEIL M. COE

Multistakeholder initiatives in global production networks: naturalizing specific understandings of sustainability through the Better Cotton Initiative

In recent years, various academics, consultants, companies and NGOs have advocated a move towards more cooperative approaches to private sustainability standards to address the widely identified shortcomings of the compliance paradigm. However, is it possible to address these limitations by moving t...

Publication

Jan 1, 2019
Stephanie BARRIENTOS, Lara BIANCHI, Cindy BERMAN

Gender and governance of global value chains: Promoting the rights of women workers

Private governance channelled through social compliance programmes and gender initiatives of multinational companies have had limited impact in tackling gender discrimination in global value chains (GVCs). The United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) provide a public–...

Publication

Jan 1, 2019
Matteo Fiorini, Bernard Hoekman, Marion Jansen, Philip Schleifer, Olga Solleder, Regina Taimasova, Joseph Wozniak

Institutional design of voluntary sustainability standards systems: Evidence from a new database

Voluntary sustainability standards (VSS) have become a significant element of the governance of international trade and production. Even though VSS are not mandatory (required by law), in practice they are often necessary for producers to participate in global value chains. Finally, VSS are often co...

Publication

Jan 1, 2019
Matteo Fiorini, Bernard Hoekman, Marion Jansen, Philip Schleifer, Olga Solleder, Regina Taimasova, Joseph Wozniak

Institutional design of voluntary sustainability standards systems: Evidence from a new database

Voluntary sustainability standards (VSS) have become a significant element of the governance of international trade and production. Even though VSS are not mandatory (required by law), in practice they are often necessary for producers to participate in global value chains. Finally, VSS are often co...

Publication

Jan 1, 2019
Joerg S. Hofstetter

Multi-tier sustainable supply chain management

A focal company’s boundary of accountability for social or environmental misconduct in its supply chain is hard to define. Non-sustainable business practices can occur at all stages in the supply chain: at raw material exploitation, intermediate production, or transportation. And it can occur atan...

Publication

Jan 1, 2019
Stefano Ponte

Green Capital Accumulation: Business and Sustainability Management in a World of Global Value Chains

Tackling climate change and other environmental crises entails a critical reflection on processes and outcomes that are behind sustainability management by business. Sustainability has become a commodity itself, to be traded, bought, sold and managed like all others. How lead firms in global value c...

Publication

Jan 1, 2019
Mahwish J Khan, Stefano Ponte, Peter Lund-Thomsen

The ‘factory manager dilemma’: Purchasing practices and environmental upgrading in apparel global value chains

Economic and environmental upgrading in global value chains are intertwined processes. The existing global value chain literature has so far articulated the relationships between economic and social upgrading but has only recently started to explore the challenges of environmental upgrading from the...

Publication

Jan 1, 2018
Jörg H. Grimm, Joerg S. Hofstetter, Joseph Sarkis

Interrelationships amongst factors for sub-supplier corporate sustainability standards compliance: An exploratory field study

Sub-supplier compliance with a focal firm's corporate sustainability standards (CSS) is increasingly recognized as an important dimension of sustainable supply chain management. This paper draws on recent sub-supplier management studies and their critical success factors (CSFs) to investigate t...

Publication

Jan 1, 2018
Markus Krajewski

State duty to protect and corporate responsibility for human rights in global supply chains

The responsibility of transnational corporations for human rights violations in global supply chains continue to be of public interest: Fires in textile factories in Pakistan, environmental destructions due to oil production or worst forms of child labour in mines which produce minerals for electron...

Publication

Jan 1, 2018
Raphael Kaplinsky, Mike Morris

Standards, regulation and sustainable development in a global value chain driven world

Regulations and standards have become an increasingly important factor affecting the capacity of producers to participate in global markets. Directly and indirectly, they not only determine the terms of market-entry but also affect the extent to which different producers are able to position themsel...

Publication

Jan 1, 2017
Matteo Fiorini, Bernard Hoekman, Marion Jansen Philip Schleifer, Olga Solleder, Regina Taimasova and Joseph Wozniak

Suppliers’ access to voluntary sustainability standards

Voluntary Sustainability Standards (VSS) have long become a usual attribute of international production and trade. Despite the fact that VSS are not legally binding, in order to be a part of global value chains, they have become de facto mandatory, and non-compliance may lead to exclusion of produce...

Publication

Jan 1, 2016
Fiorini Matteo, Schleifer Philip, Sollerder Olga, Tainasova Regina, Jansen Marion, Wozniak Joseph, Hoekman Bernard

Social and environmental standards: Contributing to more sustainable value chains

Jan 1, 2014
Daniele Giovannucci, Oliver von Hagen, Joseph Wozniak

Corporate Social Responsibility and the Role of Voluntary Sustainability Standards

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is becoming a standard feature particularly for large and consumer-oriented firms. What started in the late 1960s as something closer to charity or philanthropy has evolved dramatically in recent years. Yet, as actualization of the CSR concept is increasingly ex...

Publication

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