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CSR Institute-partnered Session: UN Sustainable Development Goals - Preliminary Explorations & Insights

Date
April 12, 2018
Time
12:00 PM - 2:30 PM
Location
Ryerson University’s Ted Rogers School of Management, 55 Dundas St. West, Toronto [9th floor, room TRS 3-129]

The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), are a set of 17 goals addressing the need to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity, by 2030. The Ted Rogers School of Management (TRSM) at Ryerson University is a signatory to the UN Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME). As a PRME signatory, TRSM committed to incorporating the SDGs in both teaching and research.  The six research projects featured in this session were funded by the Dean as part of TRSM's commitment to PRME concerning the SDGs. 

The six SDG research projects discussed in this session (and their researchers) are described below:

(1) Cultural Factors Shaping Institutions: Do Firms Benefit in Public-Private Partnerships? This study suggests that national culture enters into institutions such as public-private partnerships (PPPs), thus affecting the firms engaging in those partnerships. Addressing United Nations Sustainable Development Goals related to infrastructure, cities, responsible production and consumption, climate action, and partnerships (United Nations, 2015), this study draws upon an international sample of 300 transportation firms across 26 countries and uses a negative binomial model to find support for its core proposition. The research on this topic is conducted by Dr. Deborah de Lange who is faculty in Ryerson University's Global Management Studies, with research focussing on topics related to sustainable development. She has published several journal articles, chapters and three books including, Cliques and Capitalism: A Modern Network Theory of the FirmResearch Companion to Green International Studies, and Power and Influence: The Embeddedness of Nations.

(2) A Feminist Analysis of Impact-Benefit Agreements (IBAs).  Feminist scholars have raised concerns about the power of Indigenous women to orient law-making to address the needs of women and the vulnerable groups they represent from resource extraction.Goal 5 of the UNSDG aims to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. While the world has achieved progress towards gender equality and women's empowerment, Indigenous women have not benefited from much of these improvements.  Impact benefit agreements are a key site where this concern manifests, as evidence indicates women receive less direct economic benefits from IBA’s than men but bear greater social responsibilities.  I provide a gap analysis of IBA research and identify several priority research themes related to the negotiation, approval, implementation, and contestation of agreements as it pertains to Indigenous women. This analysis will contribute to the legal scholarship on the Duty to Consult and Indigenous law and to meeting UNSDG goals by identifying several ways IBA’s rely on other legal devices for efficacy or accountability and, as such, engage with IBA’s as regulatory devices that are simultaneously public and private, enforceable and non-enforceable, Indigenous and non-Indigenous. The research on this topic is conducted by Dr. Sari Graben LL.B (Dalhousie), LL.M. (Queen’s), Ph.D. (Osgoode), who is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Law & Business in the Ted Rogers School of Management. Her primary research interests are in the field of law and resource development with a special focus on risk regulation and Indigenous peoples.

(3) Leading to Inclusion: Increasing Leadership Opportunities for Women in Canada.  This research seeks to establish best practices for increasing the representation of women in senior leadership positions at Canadian corporations. The goal is to determine which mechanisms are most likely to be effective, and to evaluate those mechanisms ethically. Establishing effective mechanisms for achieving a greater role for women in senior leadership positions should be thought of as an essential element of the pursuit of UN’s Sustainable Development Goal #5, Gender Equality. The research on this topic is conducted by Martin Fabro and Dr. Chris MacDonald. Martin Fabro is a graduate of the Ted Rogers MBA program at Ryerson University, and a Research Associate at the Ted Rogers Leadership Centre Dr. Chris MacDonald is Chair of the Department of Law and Business in Ryerson University's Ted Rogers School of Management, and is the director of the Ted Rogers Leadership Centre. His research is focused on business ethics and social responsibility.  

(4) Resource Classification in the context of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The presentation will focus on understanding the UN Framework Classification for Resource Classification (UNFC, external link) as a tool capable of assisting the achievement of many of the SDGs, including Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy.  The research on this topic is conducted by Dr. Thomas Schneider, who is an assistant professor of accounting in the School of Accounting and Finance at Ryerson University's Ted Rogers School of Management. He is a member of the United Nations Expert Group on Resource Classification (EGRC), primarily focused on applying (and modifying) the current UN resource classification system as a tool to help achieve the SDGs.

(5) Combating Climate Change and Sustainable Development Goal 13. Greenhouse gas emissions contribute to global warming and this research addresses carbon tax as well as cap and trade mechanisms and their respective effectiveness in reducing carbon emissions.  The context of the research is the Province of Ontario, and the research is being conducted by Dr. Philip Walsh, who is an Associate Professor in Entrepreneurship and Strategy at the Ted Rogers School of Management.  He is also a registered Professional Geoscientist in Ontario.

(6) How are leading CSR-oriented Canadian firms referencing and engaging with the SDGs? This research examines how leading Canadian and non-Canadian firms are referencing and engaging with the SDGs, in so doing providing preliminary support for the proposition that the SDGs are a mechanism for multi-stakeholder engagement on socio-enviro-economic issues in furtherance of the SDG objectives. Early research results suggests that the selection, nature and intensity of corporate interactions with the SDGs varies with the corporate sector, the socio-legal institutional environment of the sector and the nationality of the firms. The research for this project is conducted by Dr. Kernaghan Webb (LL.B., LL.M., LL.D.), who is an Associate Professor in the Law and Business Department at Ryerson University's Ted Rogers School of Management, and is the Director of the Ryerson University Institute for the Study of Corporate Social Responsibility.  His research and writing focuses on innovative approaches to regulation, and has been quoted and followed by the Supreme Court of Canada.

Dr. Deborah de Lange (Dept. of Global Management Studies, Ted Rogers School of Management). Her research focuses on topics related to sustainable development. She has published several journal articles, chapters and three books including, Cliques and Capitalism: A Modern Network Theory of the FirmResearch Companion to Green International Studies, and Power and Influence: The Embeddedness of Nations.

Dr. Sari Graben (Dept. of Law & Business, Ted Rogers School of Management). Her primary research interests are in the field of law and resource development with a special focus on risk regulation and Indigenous peoples.  

Martin Fabro (MBA Graduate, Ted Rogers School of Management). Currently a Research Associate at the Ted Rogers Leadership Centre.

Dr. Chris MacDonald (Chair - Dept. of Law & Business, Ted Rogers School of Management). He is the director of the Ted Rogers Leadership Centre. His research is focused on business ethics and social responsibility.

Dr. Thomas Schneider (School of Accounting and Finance, Ted Rogers School of Management). He is a member of the United Nations Expert Group on Resource Classification (EGRC), primarily focused on applying (and modifying) the current UN resource classification system as a tool to help achieve the SDGs.

Dr. Philip Walsh (Dept. of Entrepreneurship and Strategy, Ted Rogers School of Management). He is also a registered Professional Geoscientist in Ontario.

Dr. Kernaghan Webb (Dept. of Law & Business, Ted Rogers School of Management). He is the Director of the Ryerson University Institute for the Study of Corporate Social Responsibility.  His research and writing focuses on innovative approaches to regulation, and has been quoted and followed by the Supreme Court of Canada.