Sustainability standards and sustainable development: synergies and trade offs of transnational governance

Brandi, Clara
Externe Publikationen (2016)

in: Sustainable Development 25 (1), 25-34

Information

This article investigates potential trade-offs between the socioeconomic and environmental dimensions of development within the context of transnational business governance and sustainability standards, exemplified by smallholder certification in the palm oil sector as a means to improve both sustainability and the inclusion of small farmers in global value chains. This article finds that there are important trade-offs between environmental sustainability and inclusive development: Firstly, there is a worry that the diffusion of standards that aim at enhancing environmental sustainability may undermine the socioeconomic situation of smallholders by excluding them from global value chains and from international markets that demand certified commodities. Secondly, while smallholder certification can generate socioeconomic benefits for farmers included in certification schemes, these benefits may have contradictory and undesired implications for environmental sustainability. The article analyses these trade-offs and discusses implications with a view to fostering the synergies between economic, environmental and social sustainability.

About the author

Brandi, Clara

Economist and Political Scientist

Clara Brandi

Further experts

Altenburg, Tilman

Economic Geographer 

Bauer, Steffen

Political scientist 

Blankenbach, Johannes

Political Scientist 

Fues, Thomas

Economist 

Hein, Jonas

Geographer 

Horstmann, Britta

Geographer 

Mehl, Regine

Political Scientist 

Messner, Dirk

Political Scientist 

Never, Babette

Political Scientist 

Pauw, Pieter

Environment Scientist 

Pegels, Anna

Economist 

Volz, Ulrich

Economist 

Contact

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