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

Brandi

Further experts

Altenburg, Tilman

Economic Geographer 

Bauer, Steffen

Political scientist 

Horstmann, Britta

Geographer 

Mehl, Regine

Political Scientist 

Never, Babette

Political Scientist 

Pegels, Anna

Economist 

Volz, Ulrich

Economist 

Chan, Sander

Enviroment Policy 

Fuhrmann, Hanna

Economist 

Keil, Jonas

Economist 

Hulse, Merran

Political Scientist 

Kuhn, Sascha

Social Psychologist 

Mathis, Okka Lou

Political Scientist 

Nowack, Daniel

Political Scientist 

Olekseyuk, Zoryana

Economist 

Vogel, Johanna

International Cultural Economist 

Wehrmann, Dorothea

Sociologist 

Reiners, Wulf

Political Scientist 

Malerba, Daniele

Economist 

Bencini, Jacopo

Environmental Researcher 

Iacobuta, Gabriela

Environmental Researcher 

Weinsheimer, Felix

Political Scientist 

Gonsior, Victoria

Economist 

Weinreich, Jan

Political Science