Responsabilit socitale et dveloppement durable

English (United Kingdom)

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Mitigating Environmental Risks in Microenterprises: A Case Study From El Salvador

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Recently, international funding agencies and practitioners in the area of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have argued that microfinance institutions (MFIs) could promote the adoption of environmentally friendly business practices in microenterprises in developing countries. This article explores the potential and limitations of MFIs in promoting the spread of environmental risk management techniques and practices in microenterprises using a case study of an MFI-sponsored pilot program in this area in El Salvador. The author argues that caution should be exercised about the role that MFIs can play in relation to inducing change to the environmentally harmful practices of micro-entrepreneurs. In fact, this study reveals that the MFI had some difficulties in building internal skills and reconciling its environmental and performance objectives, limiting its ability to assist microenterprises in the area of environmental management. Furthermore, the pilot program, as it was designed, did not sufficiently take into account the psychological and financial barriers that constrain micro-entrepreneurs’ capacity to engage in any meaningful environmental behavior change. Finally, factors such as the lack of an adequate legal framework and local infrastructure also countered the effort of the MFI and limited the potential of microenterprises for effectively engaging in environmental risk management practices. The article concludes by outlining the implications of this analysis for future research, policy, and practice in this area.

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Normative diversity, conflict and transition: Shale gas in the Netherlands

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Publication date: Available online 29 November 2016
Source:Technological Forecasting and Social Change

Author(s): Eefje Cuppen, Udo Pesch, Sanne Remmerswaal, Mattijs Taanman

Few people disagree on the need for sustainable development, but ideas about what it exactly means and how to pursue it diverge considerably. Although such normative conflicts are key to sustainability transitions, attention to such conflicts is lacking in transition studies. In this paper we understand societal conflict as an informal assessment of sustainable transition pathways with the potential for learning about normative ideas about the direction, speed and means of transitions. We analyse the Dutch societal conflict on the plans for shale gas exploration between 2010 and 2013, based on a media-analysis and interviews, in order to identify the normative conflicts and to find out to which extent these normative conflicts resulted in higher-order learning. The two main normative conflicts in the case firstly concern the role of gas in the energy transition, and secondly the balance between local and national interests in defining the public interest. With that, the societal conflict challenges two key elements of the Dutch welfare state. We conclude that there has been higher-order learning as regards the first conflict, but not as regards the second.

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Achieving environmental sustainability: The case for multi-layered collaboration across disciplines and players

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Publication date: Available online 30 November 2016
Source:Technological Forecasting and Social Change

Author(s): Paul Shrivastava, Nuno Guimarães-Costa

The sustainable development (SD) paradigm challenges global production and consumption, and the legitimacy of corporations. In this paper we examine corporate responses to legitimacy challenges posed by SD. Corporations initially responded to SD with “eco-efficiency” and corporate social responsibility. More recently, we observe a process of multi-layered collaboration that we here call “hybridization”. In this approach corporations meld their interests with those of key stakeholders – government, political actors, public, consumers, and non-governmental organizations – in the process of achieving environmental sustainability. This exploratory study describes several examples of the hybridization strategy. We explore how corporations are being transformed by hybridization and also transforming the capitalist system in the process.

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How can small firms benefit from open innovation? The case of new drug development in Taiwan

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How can small firms manage and benefit from open innovation? We study three Taiwan's biotechnology firms leveraging open innovation in developing new drugs. At the phase of the new drug discovery, two companies acquired technology from external sources. CSRC Synpac Company acquired technology from Professor Yuan-Tsong Chen at Duke University (USA) in 1991. GlycoNex Company acquired technology from Professor Sen-itiroh Hakomori at University of Washington (USA) in 2001. AbGenomics Company developed its own technology at Professor Rong-Hwa Lin's team at National Taiwan University (Taiwan) in 2000. Through technology transfer, CSRC Synpac Company licensed out the new drug Myozyme to Genzyme Corporation (USA) in 2000. AbGenomics Company licensed out the new drug AbGn-168H to Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceutical (Germany) in 2005. GlycoNex Company licensed out the new drug GNX-8 to Otsuka Pharmaceutical (Japan) in 2009.

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