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Special Issue: Greenwashing and Fintech in the Digital Age: Challenges and Opportunities for Sustainable Development

Background:

The fast expansion of the fintech industry has resulted in revolutionary changes to the financial environment, bringing new solutions across several industries (Guoand Zhang, 2023; Asgari and Izawa, 2023). As fintech continues to gain traction, the need to address climate change and achieve sustainable development objectives has become more apparent. Nonetheless, this advancement is coupled with a growing concern: the rise of greenwashing methods in the business. Greenwashing refers to companies' deceptive or misleading marketing tactics that falsely portray their environmental responsibilities (de Freitas Netto et al.,2020; Delmas and Burbano, 2011). It is the promotion of sustainable financial goods or services without true commitment or impact, harming sustainability initiatives (Seele and Gatti, 2017). This phenomenon is especially significant in the context of fintech, where the convergence of technology and finance has eased the creation and marketing of new, sustainability-focused financial products. There are instances in which fintech firms market their investing platform as environmentally friendly, offering to divert funds to green initiatives and sustainable businesses. However, firms' investments may lack defined environmental standards or impact assessments, thereby greenwashing their services.

This special issue seeks to promote academic comprehension of the challenges and opportunities presented by greenwashing in the fintech sector, especially in the context of sustainable development. By analysing the intricate relationship between technology, finance, and sustainability, the SI aims to shed insight into the processes and dynamics underpinning greenwashing activities. In addition, the SI seeks to explore solutions that may successfully combat greenwashing and use the potential of fintech for truly sustainable development.

Delving further into this issue helps examine the various greenwashing strategies used by fintech companies. By using digital marketing strategies and algorithms, for instance, these companies may selectively highlight some sustainability characteristics while downplaying others, therefore presenting a misleading impression of their dedication to sustainability (Xie et.al, 2023). Investigating the challenges and opportunities associated with greenwashing in fintech will not only improve our understanding of this issue, but will also inform the implementation of effective regulatory frameworks, industry standards, and best practices to combat greenwashing and promote sustainable development.

Through empirical analysis, review research, and multi-study techniques, we seek submissions that address myriad facets of greenwashing in the fintech business. In addition, we encourage studies that offer innovative solutions, such as technology breakthroughs or governmental interventions, to combat greenwashing and support truly sustainable growth in fintech.

Themes

The sub-topics for interest may include but are not limited to:

  • Greenwashing within the context of fintech and sustainable development: conceptual frameworks and theoretical perspectives.
  • Empirical investigation of the presence and effect of greenwashing in the financial industry.
  • Regulatory frameworks and strategies intended to combat greenwashing in fintech.
  • Case studies investigating particular cases of greenwashing in fintech and its effects on sustainable development.
  • Evaluating technological options to identify and avoid greenwashing in fintech, such as blockchain, AI, and big data analytics.
  • Ethical concerns and responsible practices in fintech for the development of a sustainable society.
  • Beliefs, attitudes, and actions of fintech users about greenwashing.
  • Strategies for strengthening sustainable fintech offerings' openness, responsibility, and reliability.
  • Fintech innovations that actually help attain sustainable development goals.

Schedule:

Submission Deadline: August 31, 2024
Acceptance Deadline: August 31, 2025

Guest Editors:

Umer Shahzad 
SEMRU (Socio-Economic Marine Research Unit) Whitaker Institute, University of Galway, Ireland School of Economics, Széchenyi Istvàn University, Hungary
Email: umer.shahzad@universityofgalway.ie;  shehzad-umer@hotmail.com
https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=Rlf4IAsAAAAJ&hl=en
ORCID: 0000-0002-7010-4054  
Associate Editor: Geological Journal
Associate Editor: Environment Development and Sustainability
Associate Editor:  Politická ekonomie
Subject Editor:  Social Science and Humanities Open
Editor Board:  Heliyon, Financial Innovation  
Guest Editor:
Resources Policy, Gondwana Research, GeoScience Frontiers, Utilities Policy, Heliyon, Environment Development and Sustainability

Gagan Deep Sharma
Professor, University School of Management Studies
Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, New Delhi, India
Email: angrishgagan@gmail.com, gagan@ipu.ac.in
ORCID: 0000-0001-5379-0761
Associate Editor: Journal of Public AffairsQualitative Research in Organizations and ManagementCorporate Governance
Subject Editor: Social Sciences and Humanities Open (Elsevier)
Guest Editor: Venture CapitalEnergy Sources, Part B: Economics, Planning, and PolicyAnnals of Financial EconomicsFrontiers in Environmental ScienceSustainabilityFrontiers in Energy ResearchCleaner and Responsible ConsumptionFrontiers in Psychology; Resources Policy

Mohamed Elheddad
Teesside University International Business School.
Email: M.Elheddad@tees.ac.uk
ORCID: 0000-0002-4175-4808

Nadia Doytch
Koppelman School of Business, CUNY-Brooklyn College, New York, USA
PhD Program in Economics, CUNY-Graduate Center, New York, USA
School of Government, Ateneo de Manila University, Manila, Philippines
The University of Economics Ho Chi Minh City, Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam
Ndoytch@brooklyn.cuny.edu
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2944-6810

Cosimo Magazzino
Department of Political Science, Roma Tre University, Italy
Email: cosimo.magazzino@uniroma3.it
ORCID: 0000-0002-3176-9838
Associate Editor: Frontiers in Environmental Science; International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management; Management of Environmental Quality; International Journal of the Energy-Growth Nexus.
Review Editor: Environmental Economics and Management.
Guest Editor: Advances in Environmental and Engineering Research; Agriculture; AIMS Environmental Science; Frontiers in Environmental Science; International Journal of the Energy-Growth Nexus; Journal of Risk and Financial Management; Research in Transportation Economics; Sustainability.
Board Editor: Advances in Environmental and Engineering Research; Asian Journal of Economics and Empirical Research; Business and Economic Research; Centre for Research on Islamic Banking & Finance and Business; Economic Research Guardian; Energies; Energy, Sustainability and Society; Environmental Economics and Management; Frontiers in Environmental Science; Future Business Journal; Global Journal of Social Science Research; Hitit Journal of Social Sciences; International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management; International Journal of Banking, Economics and Finance; International Journal of Economics and Finance; International Journal of Financial Research; International Journal of Petroleum Technology; International Journal of the Energy-Growth Nexus; Journal of Energy and Environmental Policy; Management of Environmental Quality.

Reference 

Guo, P. and Zhang, C., 2023. The impact of bank FinTech on liquidity creation: Evidence from China. Research in International Business and Finance, 64, p.101858.

Asgari, B. and Izawa, H., 2023. Does FinTech penetration drive financial development? Evidence from panel analysis of emerging and developing economies. Borsa Istanbul Review.

de Freitas Netto, S.V., Sobral, M.F.F., Ribeiro, A.R.B. and Soares, G.R.D.L., 2020. Concepts and forms of greenwashing: A systematic review. Environmental Sciences Europe, 32(1), pp.1-12.

Delmas, M.A. and Burbano, V.C., 2011. The drivers of greenwashing. California Management Review, 54(1), pp.64-87.

Seele, P. and Gatti, L., 2017. Greenwashing revisited: In search of a typology and accusation‐based definition incorporating legitimacy strategies. Business Strategy and the Environment, 26(2), pp.239-252.

Xie, J., Chen, L., Liu, Y. and Wang, S., 2023. Does fintech inhibit corporate greenwashing behavior?-Evidence from China. Finance Research Letters, 55, p.104002.

Glavas, D., Grolleau, G. and Mzoughi, N., 2023. Greening the greenwashers–How to push greenwashers towards more sustainable trajectories. Journal of Cleaner Production, 382, p.135301.

Zhang, D., 2023. Does green finance really inhibit extreme hypocritical ESG risk? A greenwashing perspective exploration. Energy Economics, 121, p.106688.

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