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Sustainable Chain Management

February 22, 2002

A "Call for Contributions" on the topic of:



Greenleaf Publishing invites contributions for: (1) a special issue of

"Greener Management International"; and (2) a subsequent new book on the

topic of "Sustainable Chain Management" both to be edited by Dr Teun

Wolters (ISCOM, Institute for Sustainable Commodities, The Netherlands).


Although command-and-control measures have had a significant beneficial

impact on the environment, it is now generally recognised that

ecological sustainability requires further integration of environmental

concerns into the strategies that basically define corporate identity.

Moreover, it is increasingly considered that sustainable development

involves three main aspects of productive activity: economic, social and


The relevance of this triad is particularly manifest in the

international trade relationships involving large international trading

and manufacturing companies that obtain their major inputs from

low-income regions in the world.

Many of these large international companies - mostly based in advanced

economies in the European Union, Australasia and North America - are now

facing growing demands for corporate responsibility and accountability.

The mixed blessing that globalisation is thought to be is also leading

to further pressure on companies operating in developing countries in

areas such as labour rights and environmental management, especially

when the countervailing powers of good government and civil society are

weak and poverty prevails.

Parallel to these developments, in a world of development aid and

international co-operation it is increasingly being realised that the

war against poverty is best waged by encouraging less-developed nations

to become competitive actors in the world economy. Although in the past

business and NGOs represented two different, antagonistic worlds,

nowadays there is a growing realisation that the provision of schools

and clinics cannot bring sustainable well-being if the population

remains impoverished and without means to generate wealth. In this

respect there is a lot to learn from the international business

community which is beginning to broaden its scope in terms of social and

environmental concerns.

The above considerations underline the relevance of Sustainable Chain

Management (SCM) - which requires working towards enhancing the social,

environmental and economic performance (quality) of the processes (and

the companies that are responsible for them) necessary to grow, process,

transport and sell a product. SCM makes it possible for organisations in

the different links of a product chain to work together for a

sustainable product and bring it to market. There are now cases where

NGOs have actively helped to create separate market niches for social,

environmental or in a broader sense sustainable products which benefit

small farmers or manufacturers while at the same time proving that

different, more sustainable modes of doing business are possible. After

the first experiments, there is now a growing call for mainstreaming -

the adoption of sustainability standards by large manufacturers and

sellers of the products whose (frequently agricultural) ingredients

originate from developing countries. This means not only increasing the

requirements that overseas small producers have to meet but also

actively enabling them to achieve such standards. Direct contacts with

large purchasing companies require considerable commercial skills from

the upstream producers. Rather than selling to middlemen that pool the

products of a great number of producers, sustainable chain management

involves direct contact with clients. Product quality is one of the key

issues in such relationships.

How to cope with all of these new developments is a great challenge for

actors at both ends of international project chains. There is a great

need for inspiring stories of good practice, good management instruments

and adequate government and NGO policies in this field.


Contributors to the special issue of "Greener Management International"

are also invited to submit their contribution to the subsequent book.

Contributions deemed suitable for the journal's special issue may also

appear in the book along with a number of other contributions. Both

publications will cover a spectrum of topics, although the journal issue

will primarily focus on environmental sustainability in product chains

while the book will cover more extensively issues related to social

sustainability. Contributions in the following areas are encouraged:

* Implementation of chain management in agricultural chains (e.g.

coffee, cocoa, bananas and cotton) dependent on niche markets for

organic products and/or fair trade

* Implementation of chain management in agricultural chains (e.g.

coffee, cocoa, bananas and cotton) for mainstream markets based on

principles of sustainable production

* Conceptual models for market approaches for sustainable products from

the viewpoint of the agrofood processing industry

* Conceptual models for market approaches for sustainable products from

the viewpoint of upstream producers in commodity chains

* Non-agricultural commodities, sustainable production and chain


* Management and accounting models and systems that benefit sustainable

production and can be applied to international product chains

* (Extended) LCA as a tool of sustainable chain management in product

chains involving actors from different continents

* Sustainability indicators for the management of international product

chains: integration of economic, environmental and economic variables

* Sustainable chain management as a tool for reducing poverty

* Globalisation and the possibility of making product chains sustainable

* How to define and monitor social and environmental issues in the

management of international chains and set challenging targets

* NGO-business partnerships for poverty reduction

* The role of technology in sustainable chain management

Projected audience

The special issue of the journal and the book will both aim to aid

managers, researchers, consultants, students, NGO representatives and

government in understanding current thinking on sustainable chain

management in terms of transforming international product chains into

channels of sustainable production. Both publications are expected to

incorporate a mixture of case studies, empirical and applied theoretical



Given the intended practical nature of these publications, we encourage

contributions from practitioners in businesses, NGOs and governments, as

well as academics. Case studies should be between 3,000 and 5,000 words

in length. Other papers, expected to be based on well-founded conceptual

models, should count between 4,000 to 6,000 words. The paper submission

should follow editorial guidelines, which can be obtained from Greenleaf

Publishing (see below).


The submission deadline for initial expressions of interest in the form

of abstracts of approximately 300 words is 1 April 2002. Abstracts

should be sent to the Guest Editor (see "Contact Details" at the end of

this Call).

A selection process will then be put into motion. Contributors whose

abstracts are felt appropriate for the projects will then be asked to

submit full papers by 1 July 2002. Contributors will be informed of the

acceptance of their contributions or be invited to submit final revised

papers by 1 November 2002. It is intended that the special issue of

"Greener Management International" will be published in March 2003 and

the book in Autumn 2003.

_ Abstract submissions: before 1 April 2002

_ Full paper submissions: 1 July 2002

_ Revised paper submissions: 1 November 2002

Contact details

For further information, to discuss ideas for contributions and to

submit abstracts/manuscripts, please contact the Guest Editor:

Teun Wolters

ISCOM, Institute for Sustainable Commodities

The Netherlands


Contribution guidelines can be obtained from:

Samantha Self

Greenleaf Publishing

Aizlewood Business Centre

Aizlewood's Mill

Sheffield S3 8GG


Tel: +44 (0)114 282 3475

Fax: +44 (0)114 282 3476

E-mail: journals@greenleaf-publishing.com


Submitted by: Matteo Calbucci

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