Strategies for tropical forest protection and sustainable supply chains: challenges and opportunities for alignment with the UN sustainable development goals

Delabre, Izabela, Alexander, Anthony and Rodrigues, Camila (2019) Strategies for tropical forest protection and sustainable supply chains: challenges and opportunities for alignment with the UN sustainable development goals. Sustainability Science. pp. 1-15. ISSN 1862-4065 (Accepted)

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Abstract

Governance for sustainable development increasingly involves diverse stakeholder groups, with the promise of enhanced legitimacy and effectiveness in decision-making and implementation. The UN sustainable development goals (SDGs) emphasise the important role of multiple (non-state) actors, including businesses and non-governmental organisations, including in efforts to ensure the sustainability of supply chains, and to reduce tropical deforestation and forest degradation. This paper critically analyses sustainability strategies to examine how the UN SDG agendas related to ‘sustainable supply chains’ and ‘tropical forest protection’ are framed and enacted by two contrasting non-state actors: (1) Instituto Centro de Vida (ICV), an NGO in Brazil working to address deforestation, including by supporting farmers to produce commodities, and (2) Unilever, a global consumer goods manufacturer and major buyer of such commodities. By identifying areas of variability in the discursive techniques used by ICV and Unilever, we unearth particular power dynamics that can shape the processes and outcomes of sustainability strategies. This paper finds that the two organisations use diverse strategies at different levels of governance, both participate actively in multi-stakeholder forums to advance their organisations’ goals, but have divergent framings of ‘sustainability’. Despite being considered ‘non-state’ actors, the strategies of the two organisations examined both reflect, and influence, the structural effects of the state in the implementation of non-state organisations’ strategies, and progress towards the SDGs. Although there is alignment of certain strategies related to tropical forest protection, in some cases, there is a risk that more sustainable, alternative approaches to governing forests and supply chains may be excluded.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Sustainable supply chain management, UN Sustainable Development Goals, Tropical forest protection, Sustainability, Non-state governance
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > Management
Research Centres and Groups: Sussex Sustainability Research Programme
Depositing User: Izabela Delabre
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2019 14:33
Last Modified: 26 Nov 2019 15:45
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/87322

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