Call for Papers: “Assessing and Forecasting the Sustainability Impact of New Ventures” – Special Issue of Journal of Cleaner Production – Deadline August 31, 2021

Aim and Motivation

Entrepreneurs and start-ups are key actors in implementing environmental innovation and new approaches in cleaner production. Thus, analyzing the impact of entrepreneurial ventures is central to cleaner production as well as entrepreneurship research.

The sustainability impact of incumbent firms and their products and services has been a key topic in business-related sustainability research for many years. But the assessment of sustainability impacts of new ventures and start-ups, for example by means of life cycle assessment or social impact analysis, is a neglected area of research.

While in recent years an extensive portfolio of practical methods and tools for sustainability-oriented business model development and impact investing has been developed, there is very little knowledge about suitable theoretical foundations for a predictive impact assessment of new ventures. Against this backdrop …

… this Special Issue aims to contribute to a better understanding of how past, present and potential future sustainability impacts of new ventures can be properly assessed.

Get the full call for papers from the Journal of Cleaner Production (JCP) website.

Papers from all areas of sustainability, entrepreneurship and innovation research with a link to sustainable entrepreneurship, values-based innovation management, impact investment and sustainability-oriented business model development are welcome. Both original conceptual and empirical scholarly papers will be considered.

The list of topics includes (but is not limited to):

  • Theoretical foundations and conceptual frameworks, e.g. for lean impact assessment
  • Impact assessment as part of sustainability-oriented business model development
  • Approaches of forecasting and measuring and interpreting sustainability impacts
  • Methods and tools for forecasting and ex ante assessments of sustainability impacts of new ventures
  • Methods and data for ex post assessment
  • Empirical evidence of actual sustainability impacts

The special issue will be edited by Klaus Fichter, Florian Lüdeke-Freund, Stefan Schaltegger, and Simon Schillebeeckx

Paper Submission Procedure and Dates

Submission period for full papers: 1 July 2021 until 31 August 2021. Original research papers should be 6,000-8,000 words in length, 12,000 for review papers. Full papers have to be submitted through the Editorial Manager of the JCP.

Paper Development Workshop

Proposals with a minimum of 3,000 words can be submitted no later than March 31, 2021. Selected proposals will be invited to an online paper development workshop on April 30, 2021 at 11am CET. Submissions must meet the following criteria:

  • Manuscripts must be within the scope of the call for papers.
  • A minimum of 3,000 words is required (‘short paper’).
  • The manuscript must contain these (or similar) elements: Introduction/purpose of the paper, clear identification of the research gap, theoretical background, method of analysis, main (preliminary) findings, and contributions to the special issue.

All workshop submissions will be reviewed in advance. Invited authors receive further details about the workshop.

Proposal submissions must be sent via e-mail to

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