Sustainable Practices in Banking


Special issue of the International Journal of Bank Marketing; Deadline 28 Feb 2023

POSTING TYPE: Calls: Journals

Author: Charlotte Eagles

Perspectives on Sustainable Practices in Banking



Given the central role banks play locally and globally within business networks, economies and societies, there is a growing impetus from customers on choosing a bank “with a moral compass” (Ethical Consumer, 2020). Broadening beyond ethical perspectives and reflective of recent developments within other industries and sectors, the banking industry has responded to this impetus by undertaking a more responsible and sustainable approach, as guided by the UN Sustainable Development Goals ( is further evidenced by initiatives such as the UN Principles for Responsible Banking and the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative, involving over 250 banks worldwide, which are aimed at building best practice across key sustainability priorities and demonstrate clear commitments towards a sustainable finance sector.
Sustainable banking encompasses a broad range of practices including CSR, ethical banking, green banking, sustainable finance and implies a focus on environmental, social and governance principles, as well as fostering sustainable development (Aracil et al., 2021; Ziolo, 2019). Importantly, however, the successful development and implementation of sustainable banking policies and practices must not only consider customer perspectives but also those of other key stakeholders including banks and other financial institutions, activist groups, government agencies and bodies. Despite increased commitment to sustainability practices particularly in recent years, there is still evidence of green/white washing and unethical or irresponsible banking practices and policies (Patterson and McEachern, 2018) impacting brand reputation, customer trust and financial success. There is therefore an increasing opportunity for financial institutions, including those serving the base of the pyramid, to effectively integrate sustainability practices with core business models leading to long-term sustainability capabilities and social innovations (Lashitew et al., 2020).

This special issue titled “perspectives on sustainable practices in banking” relates to and builds upon select previous special issues over the last decade, in particular “social issues in banking” (Volume 30, Issue 6, 2012) and “corporate social responsibility in banking” (Vol. 39 No. 4, 2021). Thus, it seeks to provide a timely platform for in-depth study of contemporary and multi-stakeholder perspectives of sustainable practices in banking, foregrounding key developments, opportunities, and challenges such as cyber security and the COVID-19 pandemic. Consequently, this special issue aims to uncover further insight into the current role of the banking sector in championing sustainability principles and practices as well as the influence of customers and other stakeholders in shaping and driving sustainability commitments and strategies. Target topics that are relevant to this special issue of the IJBM but are not limited to those listed below. We are particularly interested in research involving one or more stakeholders including customers, banks/financial institutions, regulators/policy makers, lobby/activist groups and relevant others.


Sustainable Development Goals
Principles of Responsible Banking
UN Environnent Programme Finance Initiative

List of topic areas

  • Sustainable banking practices including within context of Islamic banking, microfinance, credit unions etc.
  • Customer responses to/demand for sustainable banking practices
  • Sustainable marketing and/or communication
  • Sustainable finance and/or socially responsible investment (SRI)
  • Banking leadership in sustainability movements
  • Green /environmental banking
  • Social/ethical banking
  • CSR and/or responsible banking
  • Banking practices and stakeholder engagement
  • Sustainability and bank reputation and/or trust
  • Sustainable banking developments in emerging markets

Guest Editors

Prof. Deirdre O’Loughlin, Associate Professor of Marketing, Kemmy Business School, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland. 

Prof. Morven G. McEachern, Professor of Sustainability & Ethics, Huddersfield Business School. University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, UK.

Submissions Information

Submissions are made using ScholarOne Manuscripts. Registration and access are available at:

Author guidelines must be strictly followed. Please see:

Authors should select (from the drop-down menu) the special issue title at the appropriate step in the submission process, i.e. in response to ““Please select the issue you are submitting to”.

Submitted articles must not have been previously published, nor should they be under consideration for publication anywhere else, while under review for this journal.

Key deadlines

Opening date: 5th September 2022
Closing date: 28th February 2023


Aracil, E., Nájera-Sánchez, J. J. and Forcadell, F. J. (2021) “Sustainable Banking: A Literature Review and Integrative Framework”, Finance Research Letters, 42 (101932), 1544-1563.
Ethical Consumer (2020) “Looking for a Bank with a Moral Compass”, 186 (Sep/Oct), 11-12.
Lashitew, A. A. L. Bals, L. and van Tulder, R (2020) “Inclusive Business at the Base of the Pyramid: The Role of Embeddedness for Enabling Social Innovations”, Journal of Business Ethics, 162, 421–448.
Patterson, Z. and McEachern, M. G. (2018) “Financial Service Providers: Does it Matter if Banks Don’t Behave Ethically?”  International Journal of Consumer Studies, 42 (5), 489-500.
Ziolo, M., Filipiak B. Z., Baq, I.˛ and Cheba, K. (2019) “How to Design More Sustainable Financial Systems: The Roles of Environmental, Social, and Governance Factors in the Decision-Making Process”, Sustainability, 11 (20), 5604, 1-34.

The authoritative version of this call can be found here.