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Global Supply Chains: Shaping Economies, Societies, and the Environment

Global supply chains are the result of international economic interdependence and the transnational coordination of goods and services. These supply chains play a vital role in molding our economies, societies, and the environment. Their effective design necessitates a profound grasp of the diverse structures that underlie global supply chains, the power dynamics among the involved stakeholders, and the implications and vulnerabilities associated with policy measures and control mechanisms implemented by both businesses and governments. Explore the intricate web of global supply chains and their profound impact on our world.

respon­sibility and lead firms

Lead firms drive global supply chains, shaping standards and innovation. Their corporate responsibility can spark positive change, yet power imbalances may burden weaker links with costs, not rewards. We investigate how diverse supply chain actors can harness corporate responsibility for sustainability.

Environment and climate change

Global supply chains impact nature and climate. They spread environmental standards and promote eco-friendly production, but can also drive unsustainable practices, increasing emissions and resource depletion. Some firms cut corners. Our research network provides key insights for greener economies.

In global supply chains, especially South-North, inequality is rife. Firms employing cheap labor often encounter weak institutions, leading to low wages, poor conditions, and widespread child labor in sectors like agriculture, mining, and light industries. Workers lack bargaining rights, small farmers struggle and face land grabbing threats, while discrimination, including gender-based, is prevalent.

Sustainability standards

Standards are key to global supply chain sustainability, signaling better practices and incentivizing adoption through price premiums. However, sustainable product market shares remain small, potentially limiting their influence on production choices. Also, standards may unintentionally affect suppliers in developing countries, possibly excluding them from global supply chains and harming their income. We explore how sustainability standards can promote supply chain sustainability while mitigating adverse impacts.

Trade and FDI

Our research network delves into the intricate relationship between international trade and foreign direct investment (FDI) within the context of Sustainable Global Supply Chains. We explore how these two forces intersect and shape the dynamics of global supply chains.

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