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Topical Collection "Sustainability in Financial Industry"

Editor

Dr. Helen Chiappini
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Collection Editor
Department of Management and Business Administration, G. d’Annunzio University of Chieti-Pescara, Viale Pindaro 42, 65127 Pescara, Italy
Interests: social impact investment funds; banking sustainability; microfinance; intellectual capital; non-performing loans; governance of financial institutions
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Topical Collection focuses on sustainability practices in financial industry. I encourage the submission of empirical and theoretical contributions investigating innovative sustainable business models and sustainable financial instruments, also in light of the new regulatory frameworks on sustainable finance and climate risk. Moreover, the Topical Collection welcomes research papers separately or jointly exploring the environmental, social, and financial performance (ESG) of both financial institutions and markets and the relationship between ESG performance and financial performance, also over the COVID-19 pandemic.

Themes of interest include but are not limited to:

  • Innovative business models for sustainable finance;
  • Innovative financial instruments and architectures for sustainability;
  • Financial performance of sustainable instruments, institutions, and markets;
  • Accountability practices in the field of sustainability;
  • Impact of new sustainability regulations on financial markets and institutions.
  • Strategies, challenges over the COVID-19 pandemic

Dr. Helen Chiappini
Guest Editor

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 collection 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 1900 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.

Keywords

  • Sustainable finance
  • Impact investing
  • Socially responsible investments
  • Business models for sustainable finance
  • Green bonds
  • Sustainable, responsible, green indexes
  • Sustainable Exchange traded funds
  • Social, environmental, and development impact bonds
  • Microcredit
  • Social and environmental impact investment funds
  • Green and sustainable regulations
  • Climate risk
  • Social and environmental rating
  • Corporate Governance tensions and practices
  • CSR of financial institutions
  • Non financial disclosure
  • Accountability of ESG performance
  • Social and environmental impact measurement
  • Covid-19 pandemic

Published Papers (6 papers)

2021

Jump to: 2020, 2019

Article
Rating Regulatory Mechanism Effect Promotion under the Environmental Issuance Effects: Based on the Incentive Difference Hotelling Model
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5368; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13105368 - 11 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 416
Abstract
Issuance effects are regarded as one of the most important aspects referring to the regulatory guidelines of green corporate bond ratings. This paper developed a new incentive difference Hotelling model, considering four major factors, i.e., the direct effect of issuance, the indirect effect [...] Read more.
Issuance effects are regarded as one of the most important aspects referring to the regulatory guidelines of green corporate bond ratings. This paper developed a new incentive difference Hotelling model, considering four major factors, i.e., the direct effect of issuance, the indirect effect of issuance, the reputation of rating agencies and the regulatory penalties. In this model, how the direct effect and the indirect effect impact the dual rating mechanism and the integrated rating mechanism was discussed. Numerical experiments were conducted to explore the regulatory effects on the two defined mechanisms in different situations. The results demonstrate that under each mechanism, the direct and indirect effects of issuance indirectly improve the effectiveness and efficiency of regulation by increasing the environmental benefit information content in the rating information, and the indirect effect has a greater impact. Moreover, it provides specific recommendations for the design of a regulatory regime. Full article
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Article
Roadmapping New Impact Bonds in a Post-COVID World: Insights from Case Studies in the Education Sector
Sustainability 2021, 13(8), 4121; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13084121 - 07 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 823
Abstract
In the last year, COVID-19 has tested both advanced and developing economies. Within such a context, the global learning crisis is expected to increase due to difficulties in accessing technology or in receiving learning support. Such a huge need, globally identified with the [...] Read more.
In the last year, COVID-19 has tested both advanced and developing economies. Within such a context, the global learning crisis is expected to increase due to difficulties in accessing technology or in receiving learning support. Such a huge need, globally identified with the Sustainable Development Goal number 4 (hereafter SDG 4), implies the need for large-scale solutions from governments around the world, especially in terms of dedicated financial resources. In this context, the impact-investing sector offers an innovative financial tool, i.e., impact bonds (IBs), which are widely applied in the education sector, even if their limitations and potentials remain unexplored in academia. Based on these considerations, our work explores whether and how IBs can contribute to funding and improving educational outcomes, with a focus on their potentials in the post-COVID world. This study adopts a qualitative approach by performing a case study analysis of four IBs. Our pilot analysis is based on the following key dimensions: (i) partnerships and contractual arrangements; (ii) financial terms; and (iii) measurement and impact. The results offer interesting insights by deriving a preliminary model on the role of IBs in the post-COVID-19 world. Full article
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Article
The Impact of COVID-19 Lockdowns on Sustainable Indexes
Sustainability 2021, 13(4), 1846; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13041846 - 08 Feb 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1169
Abstract
This paper analyzes the response of sustainable indexes to the pandemic lockdown orders in Europe and the USA, contributing to both the research on the effects of the global pandemic outbreak and the resiliency of sustainable investments under market distress. Our results demonstrate [...] Read more.
This paper analyzes the response of sustainable indexes to the pandemic lockdown orders in Europe and the USA, contributing to both the research on the effects of the global pandemic outbreak and the resiliency of sustainable investments under market distress. Our results demonstrate that sustainable indexes were negatively impacted by lockdown orders; however, they did not show statistically significant different abnormal returns compared to traditional indexes. Similarly, our empirical results confirm that sustainable screening strategies (negative, positive, best in class) did not have an influence during such announcements. These results are robust across several model specifications and robustness tests, including nonparametric tests, generalized autoregressive conditionally heteroskedastic (GARCH) estimation of abnormal returns, and alternative events. The findings suggest that investors do not have to pay the price for the investments in sustainable assets when a bear market occurs; consequently, ceteris paribus, these investments appear suitable for financial-first investors. Such results have relevant practical consequences in terms of sustainable investment attractiveness and market growth. Full article

2020

Jump to: 2021, 2019

Article
Rethinking the Income Inequality and Financial Development Nexus. A Study of Nine OECD Countries
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5449; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135449 - 06 Jul 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 969
Abstract
Sustainable finance seeks to increase the contribution of finance to sustainable and inclusive growth. The global financial crisis of 2008 provoked the return of inequality in advanced countries to levels typical of a century ago. The aim of this paper is to empirically [...] Read more.
Sustainable finance seeks to increase the contribution of finance to sustainable and inclusive growth. The global financial crisis of 2008 provoked the return of inequality in advanced countries to levels typical of a century ago. The aim of this paper is to empirically analyze the relationship between finance and income inequality for a group of nine OECD countries over the pre-crisis and post-crisis periods (2000–2015). The model proposed in this study simultaneously considers two explanatory variables for measuring financial depth (credit provision and capital markets) and a new multidimensional variable to measure the financial system’s resilience (a composite indicator), and conducts panel data analysis. The empirical results confirm that in terms of financial depth, the "too much finance hypothesis" holds. We also find that financial system’s resilience helps alleviate existing income inequality and that income inequality appears higher in liberal market economies than in coordinated economies. These results encourage policymakers to look beyond traditional public redistribution interventions and to pay attention to other financial variables related to the financialization process, the behavior of financial intermediaries, and the specific environment in which they operate. Full article
Article
Factors Affecting Farmers’ Access to Formal and Informal Credit: Evidence from Rural Afghanistan
Sustainability 2020, 12(3), 1268; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12031268 - 10 Feb 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1588
Abstract
Adequate access to credit is necessary for the sustainable development of agriculture. This study uses a double hurdle model to investigate what affects farming households’ credit participation and amount, and a Probit model to find out credit constraints. For this purpose, the data [...] Read more.
Adequate access to credit is necessary for the sustainable development of agriculture. This study uses a double hurdle model to investigate what affects farming households’ credit participation and amount, and a Probit model to find out credit constraints. For this purpose, the data from a survey of 292 farming households in Afghanistan was utilized. The study finds that households obtain credit for their agricultural activities from various formal and informal sources. The results of the double hurdle model reveal that the financial activities of the households were positively determined by crop diversity, education, number of adults in a household, size of land, and access to extension. Non-agricultural income decreases the likelihood of participation. The results of the analysis of credit constraints indicate that formal credit did not help small-scale and remoter farming households; however, these households relied on informal credit, especially when they faced income shock. Furthermore, religious belief increased the chances of avoiding formal credit but not informal credit. It is suggested that formal credit should be expanded to rural areas, especially to small-scale farming households. Policy makers should also consider increasing access to extension. Formal financial institutions should provide Sharia-compliant credit, which increases the confidence level of households in using formal credit in Afghanistan. Full article

2019

Jump to: 2021, 2020

Article
Impact Investing Strategy: Managing Conflicts between Impact Investor and Investee Social Enterprise
Sustainability 2019, 11(15), 4117; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11154117 - 30 Jul 2019
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3035
Abstract
Impact investing pursues the dual goals of creating socio-economic value for the marginalized, and ensuring net positive financial returns. Impact investing firms achieve their goals through their investments in projects and enterprises which create both social and commercial values. The primary aim of [...] Read more.
Impact investing pursues the dual goals of creating socio-economic value for the marginalized, and ensuring net positive financial returns. Impact investing firms achieve their goals through their investments in projects and enterprises which create both social and commercial values. The primary aim of this article is to contribute to our understanding of the process of impact investing, particularly with respect to issues related to aligning impact investing and investee social enterprise goals. The research method employs case-based research methodology. The data consist of six cases of impact investing and their investee social enterprises. In addition, the data involve interviews with experts from the field of impact investing. The findings are that: (1) Social mission plays an important moderating role in the inter-organizational relationship between the impact investor and the investee social enterprise, (2) and an emphasis on due diligence, sector specialization, and communication increases the likelihood of investment while (3) social impact measurement and reporting and frequent engagement increase the likelihood of post-investment alignment. The key contribution of this article is that impact investing (unlike venture capital) is influenced by the ability of its investee to create social value, which plays an important role in the inter-organizational relationship between investor and investee. Furthermore, similar to industry specialization in the for-profit investing, social sector specialization is equally relevant for alignment and returns. Full article
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