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Special Issue "Social, Environment, and Rating Agencies Help to Integrate Sustainability Principles"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Geography and Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2021) | Viewed by 7092

Special Issue Editors

Prof. María Ángeles Fernández-Izquierdo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Sustainability of Organizations and Social Responsibility Management – Financial Market (SoGReS-MF) Research Group, Jaume I University, 12071 Castellón de la Plana, Castellón, Spain
Interests: sustainable finance; ESG rating agencies; ESG assessment methodologies; sustainable business models; microfinance; ESG risk management; sustainable stock markets; corporate governance
Dr. Elena Escrig-Olmedo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Sustainability of Organizations and Social Responsibility Management – Financial Market (SoGReS-MF) Research Group, Jaume I University, 12071 Castellón de la Plana, Castellón, Spain
Interests: sustainable finance; ESG rating agencies; ESG assessment methodologies; sustainable business models, sustainable stock markets.

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Following the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the launch of the ‘EU Action Plan for Financing Sustainable Growth’ in 2018, the global community has a new agenda and framework on how to face the most urgent global problems challenging the world. In this context, the participation of the financial system is crucial to achieving sustainable development.

The integration of Sustainability Principles into a financial system could bridge the gap between policies and fundamental objectives such as growth, the social development, and access to economic opportunities.

Sustainable Finance, and specially environmental, social, and governance (ESG) rating agencies and sustainability indices—acting as relevant financial market actors—should take a stand on working towards achieving a more sustainable development, though the integration of Sustainability Principles into their assessment processes and their contribution to more sustainable business models.

ESG rating agencies scrutinize businesses and assess ESG performance in a holistic perspective. However, they use different methods and criteria to measure the same construct, and this could imply a lack of consensus in terms of definition, measurement and, consequently, management of sustainability performance.

This Special Issue will comprise a selection of papers addressing, among others, concerns linked to: (1) A sustainable financial market: The evolution of ESG rating agency industry; (2) challenges and opportunities to ESG rating agencies and sustainability indices in a sustainability context; (3) solutions that help in the integration of Sustainability Principles into ESG performance assessment methodologies adopted by rating agencies; (4) rating agencies and their evaluations of ESG performance along supply chains; (5) the role of credit rating agencies and stock exchanges in the measurement of long-term global sustainability risks, etc.

Prof. María Ángeles Fernández-Izquierdo
Dr. Elena Escrig-Olmedo
Guest Editors

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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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 2200 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

  • Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) rating agencies
  • Sustainability indices
  • Sustainability principles
  • Sustainable stock markets
  • Sustainable and responsible investing (SRI)
  • ESG risk management
  • ESG performance assessment processes and measurement methodologies

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Article
ESG Indicators as Organizational Performance Goals: Do Rating Agencies Encourage a Holistic Approach?
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10228; https://doi.org/10.3390/su122410228 - 08 Dec 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 4261
Abstract
Offering environmental, social, and governance (ESG) assessment and certification can invite organizations to adapt their activities to accommodate environmental, social, and governance concerns. Prior research points to shortcomings in accurately monitoring and assessing organizational sustainability performance. This contribution aims to highlight the role [...] Read more.
Offering environmental, social, and governance (ESG) assessment and certification can invite organizations to adapt their activities to accommodate environmental, social, and governance concerns. Prior research points to shortcomings in accurately monitoring and assessing organizational sustainability performance. This contribution aims to highlight the role of ESG indicators as motivating organizations to prioritize sustainability goals. Theory and research elucidate that the definition of specific goals guides the degree of effort organizations invest, the priorities they set, and the persistence they display in pursuing targeted outcomes. The extent to which performance assessments of rating agencies specify and integrate ESG concerns thus impacts the likelihood that organizations will address each of these sustainability targets. The likely impact of ESG indicators was examined by consulting ratings, rankings, and indexes from 130 rating agencies included in the Reporting Exchange Platform. We identified and categorized 237 unique indicators in over 600 corporate ESG indicators. Results reveal that themes covered are less well specified in the governance domain than in the environmental and social domain. Further, different dimensions are emphasized depending on which stakeholder is addressed (investors, consumers, companies). Taken together, we conclude that this makes it more difficult for organizations to adopt a holistic approach to the achievement of sustainability goals. Full article
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Article
Sustainable Investing Model for Decision Makers (Based On Research of Manufacturing Industry in the Czech Republic)
Sustainability 2020, 12(20), 8342; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12208342 - 10 Oct 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1903
Abstract
Sustainable investing is an investment approach in line with the values of sustainable development and compliance with environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) criteria. The aim of the article is to propose a sustainable investing model (SIM) to support the decision-making [...] Read more.
Sustainable investing is an investment approach in line with the values of sustainable development and compliance with environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) criteria. The aim of the article is to propose a sustainable investing model (SIM) to support the decision-making of responsible individual investors. The proposed model aggregates economic indicators of investment decision-making, positive and negative ESG criteria, the market value of the stock, a systematic and unsystematic risk (expressed by the capital asset pricing model (CAPM)), thus widening the investment triangle by another peak—and that is sustainability. The research methodology is based on four key areas (environmental, social, corporate governance, and economic) associated with sustainable investments, stock market value, and risk. The research methodology of structural equation models is applied for the construction of the SIM. Mathematical equations are used to apply the SIM, which expresses values, the so-called factor scores. For the classification of sustainable investments, a classification scale is created that divides investments into three groups: above-average, average, and below-average. The SIM comprehensively evaluates individual ESG criteria and economic areas of sustainable investments, thus assisting the investor in deciding on sustainable investments of Czech joint-stock companies in the manufacturing industry, including benchmarking with other sustainable investments. Full article
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