Sustainable Market Actors for Responsible Trade (SMART) Project


Dr Ding ChenDr Jay CullenProfessor Andrew Johnston and Dr Andreas Ruhmkorf are contributing to an EU funded interdisciplinary research project led by the University of Oslo. Sustainable Market Actors for Responsible Trade SMART project brings together our researchers from the Sheffield Institute of Corporate and Commercial Law and 25 other partner institutions across the globe.

This project aims to address an increasingly pressing global challenge: How to achieve the EU’s development goals and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, while meeting the global target of staying within two degrees global warming and avoid transgressing other planetary boundaries.

EU policies must align with sustainable development goals (Article 11 TFEU). The impacts of climate change and global loss of natural habitat undermine the progress achieved by pursuing the Millennium Development Goals and threaten the realisation of EU development policy goals.

The research will focus on the role of EU’s public and private market actors. They have a high level of interaction with actors in emerging and developing economies, and are therefore crucial to achieving the EU’s development goals. However, science does not yet cater for insights in how the regulatory environment influences their decision-making, nor in how we can stimulate them to make development-friendly, environmentally and socially sustainable decisions. Comprehensive, ground-breaking research is necessary into the regulatory complexity in which EU private and public market actors operate, in particular concerning their interactions with private and public actors in developing countries.

The research project aims to bring significant new evidence-based insights into the factors that enable or hinder coherence in EU development policy. The research will advance the understanding of how development concerns can be successfully integrated in non-development policies and regulations concerning market actors. The project team will also provide tools for improved PCD (Policy Coherence for Development) impact assessment as well as for better corporate sustainability assessment.

The project will run from 1st March 2016 to 28th February 2020.

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