Journal of International Financial Management and Accounting (JIFMA) Special Issue: Contemporary Topics of Sustainability in Finance and Accounting

Description

Overview
Sustainability in finance and accounting has been receiving more global attention since the signing of the Paris Climate Agreement, a treaty which includes the commitment to align financial flows with a pathway toward lower greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development (UN, 2015). One way of actualizing this commitment is by adopting the United Nations’ 2015 sustainable development goals (SDGs), which encompass a total of 17 goals, 169 targets, and 203 indicators to gauge improvement in a variety of areas including hunger, poverty, inequality, and clean energy, in order to improve society and the economy overall. Considering environmental, social, and governance (ESG) problems throughout the investment process leads to increased long-term investments in sustainable economic activities, and projects that correspond with the SDGs to expand benefits beyond investors to reach whole communities. Additionally, developing measurements of the organization’s contribution to sustainability and publicly disclosing this information has a significant influence on the transformation of business processes as a whole.

Guest Editors
Douglas Cumming, Florida Atlantic University, United States
cummingd@fau.edu

Silvio Vismara, University of Bergamo, Italy
silvio.vismara@unibg.it

Zhenyu Wu, University of Manitoba, Canada
zhenyu.wu@umanitoba.ca

Rationale and Scope
Prior to the pandemic, the world was incapable of reaching the SDGs. Global severe poverty continued to decline, but at a slower pace, while climate change occurred much more quickly than anticipated. To fulfill the promise to present and future generations, a renewed worldwide commitment was necessary (UN, 2019). While the unprecedented COVID‒19 outbreak quickly interrupted progress toward the SDGs and indeed reversed years of it, the importance of sustainability was magnified, since sustainable finance and accounting contribute to investments that foster a resilient economy and long-term recovery from the COVID‒19 pandemic. The recovery and long-term sustainability objectives might be accomplished through ESG disclosure and investment, climate financing, green bonds, and corporate social responsibility analyses, among other methods.

In today's world, sustainability concerns are particularly pressing when considered through the lens of severe climate change and the pandemic's impact. Despite this, reaching the United Nations' proposed level of decarbonization remains challenging, and the proper pace at which to shift business models is hard to determine. Both investors and corporations need guidelines for the disclosure of organizations’ ESG-related activities, but the lack of agreement on and availability of actionable ESG data is a significant challenge (Refinitiv, 2022). The International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Foundation has announced the establishment of a new board — the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) — which focuses on climate-related reporting and the information investors need for other ESG matters. Furthermore, in 2020 the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) launched the SDG Finance Taxonomy to accelerate capital flows that advance the SDGs (UNDP, 2020). The role of regulations and policies, the environmental and social outcomes, and the impact on investors and organizations are all processing significant shifts. Since most ESG activities are long-term, it is difficult to determine the time horizon ESG activities should be measured. For instance, environmental activities reduce the risks of costly future environmental incidents, such as hazardous chemicals, substantial emissions, and climate change concerns. Considering how recently ESG has become “mainstream”, what we currently observe might be transitory and the market may be transitioning to a new equilibrium, with new risk/return perspectives on ESG assets.

Combining all the problems and changes in the current world context, the new challenges we confront and the analyses needed for the post-pandemic world are of utmost significance. Therefore, the community welcomes papers that provide cutting-edge insights into sustainability in finance and accounting.

About JIFMA
The Journal of International Financial Management and Accounting publishes original research dealing with international aspects of financial management and reporting, banking and financial services, and auditing and taxation. Providing a forum for the interaction of ideas from both academics and practitioners, the Journal of International Financial Management and Accounting keeps you up-to-date with new developments and emerging trends.

Submission
The special issue of the Journal of International Financial Management and Accounting (JIFMA) is associated with the 6th Entrepreneurial Finance (ENTFIN) Association Annual Meeting 2022, which will be held at the University of Bath from Thursday, September 8th – Friday, September 9th, 2022.

Authors of fully developed and high-quality papers presented at this meeting will be invited to submit their papers to the special issue. However, attendance or presentation is not a pre-requisite for submission. Articles for this special issue should be submitted to the journal by Wednesday, November 30th, 2022. Full paper submissions must be in accordance with journal guidelines. All submissions will be subject to an initial screening by the Guest Co-editors of the special issue. All manuscripts considered for inclusion in the special issue will be subject to a double-blind review process and must be submitted via the journal website (https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/jifma). All papers must have an original contribution and meet the high publishing quality standard of the journal.

Potential topics
Among the topics that the guest editors welcome are the following (but not limited to):
- Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
- Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG)
- Sustainability in accounting and finance
- Social impact investing
- Inclusive finance
- Digital finance
- Green and climate finance
- Sustainable accounting practices
- Sustainable accounting reporting

Important dates
Open for Submission: June 1st, 2022
Submission Deadline: November 30th, 2022

References
United Nations, 2015, The Paris Agreement, Available at: https://unfccc.int/process-and-meetings/the-paris-agreement/the-paris-agreement.

United Nations, 2020a, Transforming our world: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Available at: https://sdgs.un.org/2030agenda.

Refinitiv, 2022, Growth and challenges in sustainable finance, Available at: https://www.refinitiv.com/perspectives/future-of-investing-trading/growth-and-challenges-in-sustainable-finance/.

UNDP, 2020, Debut of the SDG Finance Taxonomy, Available at: https://www.cn.undp.org/content/china/en/home/presscenter/articles/2020/debut-of-the-sdg-finance-taxonomy-2020-edition.html.