Special Issue "Financial Implications of Sustainability. Linkages and Tensions between Natural, Social and Financial Capital"
A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 December 2018).
Interests: reputational risk; proxi advisors; sustainability; corporate social responsibility; finance
Interests: corporate social responsibility; organizational climate; laboral conditions; behavioral finance
Many different forms of capital have been identified in different contexts and with diverse aims; however, broadly speaking, it is possible to classify them into three main categories: (i) natural capital, including natural resources (renewable and non-renewable) and ecosystem services (capture of carbon dioxide by forests, land regeneration, etc.); social capital, considering human capital (health, skills, motivation, knowledge, etc.) and ‘societal’ capital (public services, families, communities, etc.); and (iii) economic capital, including financial capital and tangible and intangible assets.
These forms of capital are interchangeable, and transforming one into another generally involves financial capital. Financial capital is the only total fungible, acting as an account unit, or as a means of wealth accumulation by acquiring additional welfare; and it is valued for its liquidity, that is, for being easily exchanged for other types of capital.
The trade-offs between financial, natural and social capital lie at the heart of the complex nature of the relationship between sustainability and finance. On the one hand, the achievement of sustainable development is strongly conditioned by financial decisions of different economic agents, who can impact positively or negatively on the environmental, social or economic situation of communities, organizations or individuals. On the other hand, there are many sustainability issues that are challenging for all these different socioeconomic agents and that are transforming the conditions in order to perform their activities and pursue their objectives.
Although financial objectives have frequently been the reason for unsustainable actions and behaviours, prompting or accelerating the degradation and depletion of natural and social capital, nowadays the free flow of capital should allow a redirection of financial resources towards investment opportunities that promise increases in both human and environmental wealth. This redirection of financial capital flows requires the design of new public and private sources of funds (such as crowdfunding) and innovative financial products and services for the joint management of financial, social and natural capital.
There is also a need for discussing the development of a sustainable financial framework, not only referring to redirecting financial flows towards sustainable projects and aligning them with economic/social/environmental priorities, but also in achieving the stability and sustainability of the financial system itself, minimizing the excess of volatility and systemic risks related to global sustainability challenges.
At the firm level, innovative organizations must use a broad and intelligent perspective on the present and future to grow successfully while ensuring their sustainability. Succeeding in such a fast-paced market requires aligning economic, natural and social capital. To this end, it is necessary to design courses of action that use a long-standing perspective, paying attention to potential disruptions that may arise, being proactive and sharing knowledge with other stakeholders, being capable of establishing collaborative and cooperative formulas for all involved parties, establishing sustainable value creation as a fundamental objective for the organization, and having the courage to make the right decisions at the right moment.
This Special Issue on “Financial Implications of Sustainability: Linkages and Tensions between Natural, Social and Financial Capital” is aimed at filling an important gap in literature by concatenating and extending knowledge in this field of research, and at discussing the complex relation between sustainability and natural/social/financial capital. In this sense, we encourage original submissions, as well as review articles, theoretical contributions or perspective pieces. We welcome papers that relate to, but are not limited to, the following themes:
- Sustainability as a “new” paradigm for finance.
- Financial analysis of investments/companies related to sustainability (management of natural resources, sustainable entrepreneurship, etc.).
- Analysis of interactions and conflicts between financial, environmental and social aspects at organizations, communities or markets.
- Analysis of benefits/risks and performance of different types of financial instruments related to sustainability: crowdfunding, climate derivatives, etc.
- Recommendation policies for national and local governments to mobilize private and public financing for sustainable projects.
- Analysis and evaluation of best practices.
- Role of national development banks to finance long-term investments necessary for achieving sustainable development.
- Harmonization of various initiatives on responsible investment and financing standards.
- Analysis of systemic risks related to sustainability.
- Analysis of the relation between financial stability and shocks or natural disasters.
- Quality of credit ratings, including analysis of competition, conflicts of interest and transparency/ consideration of sustainability issues.
- Financial and accounting instruments for making sustainable business decisions, providing information to all types of stakeholders.
- Analysis of possible management models that ensure sustainable financial success.
- New ways to do sustainable business.
- The importance of the change from the perspective of sustainability and financial success.
- New ways of organizational relationships to create sustainable value.
All papers selected for this Special Issue will undergo a rigorous peer-review process.Prof. Dr. Juan Piñeiro-Chousa
Prof. Dr. M. Ángeles López-Cabarcos
Manuscript Submission Information
Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.
Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.
Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.
- Natural capital and sustainability
- Social capital and sustainability
- Economic capital and sustainability
- Sustainability and finance