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Sustainable Chain Management

February 22, 2002

A "Call for Contributions" on the topic of:





SUSTAINABLE CHAIN MANAGEMENT: TRANSFORMING INTERNATIONAL PRODUCT CHAINS


INTO CHANNELS OF SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTION









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).








Rationale





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


environmental.





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.








Coverage





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





* 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


work.








Contributions





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).








Schedule





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


twolters@iscom.nl








Contribution guidelines can be obtained from:





Samantha Self


Greenleaf Publishing


Aizlewood Business Centre


Aizlewood's Mill


Sheffield S3 8GG


UK


Tel: +44 (0)114 282 3475


Fax: +44 (0)114 282 3476


E-mail: journals@greenleaf-publishing.com


www.greenleaf-publishing.com


Submitted by: Matteo Calbucci

 
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