What are the ongoing projects conducted by CCR?

The socio-ecological and politico-economic dynamics of ecological restoration through tree planting schemes in the global South

Funding: Academy of Finland

Duration: 2023 - 2026 

Status: Funded 

About the project: In response to the global climate and ecological crises, an unprecedented political will to engage in ecological restoration (ER) to repair damaged and degraded landscapes has emerged. The aim of this project is to examine the socio-ecological and politico-economic implications of the expansion and implementation of different types of ER involving tree planting schemes, through situated empirical analyses combined with a global analysis of these changes. The project addresses the following overarching research questions: First, what are the key drivers and barriers to the expansion of ER tree planting schemes in the global South?; Second, what are the key factors that determine the success or failure of ER tree planting schemes in the global South?; Third, how effective are current ER initiatives in promoting sustainable development in socially just and inclusive ways in vulnerable communities in the global South?; Fourth, how do the different motivations and interests of financial donors (e.g. development aid, carbon markets, grassroots financing), particularly from Finland and the EU, impact the governance, design and implementation of ER on the ground?; Fifth, what kind of interdisciplinary knowledge should be considered for better monitoring and evaluating the impact of ER tree planting schemes in the global South? Our five research questions are addressed through both a global and multi-sited case study analysis involving global data and ethnographically-oriented field research in Ethiopia, Madagascar, Mozambique and Brazil. The research will produce novel insights on how development cooperation around ER can be designed, financed and implemented in ways that include the perspectives of vulnerable communities in the global South. The results of this research will also inform policymakers and practitioners on how to enhance the implementation and impact of such schemes in a socially just and inclusive way, while contributing to the advancement of knowledge in the field of sustainable development. The results will carry especially important value for the global South populations living next to or within new ER tree-planting areas. The broader impact of the project is to ensure restoration projects supported by Finnish development funding and under the UN restoration goals work to reduce inequality and poverty, while addressing the needs of sustainable food production, carbon sequestration, and biodiversity-supporting development.


Towards Inclusive European CSR Policy

Funding: Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

Duration: 2022 - 2023

Status: Funded

About the project: In 2022, the European Commission adopted the proposal for corporate sustainability due diligence directive to advance the green transition and protect human rights in the EU and beyond. The new proposed new directive would compels EU companies of substantial size and economic power, as well as companies in identified high-impact sectors that operate in the EU to identify, prevent or and mitigate the adverse impacts of their activities on human rights and the environment. This study draws from the literature on corporate social responsibility in global value chains, non-tariff measures, and inclusive trade, as well as insights from the Ethiopian garments industry and the Tanzanian coffee sector to analyse the potential impacts of this directive on least developed countries’ value chains and trade with the EU. Although the directive only directly applies to larger companies operating in the EU, this study highlights the far-reaching impacts the directive might have on small-scale suppliers, small-holder farmers, workers, and communities in the least developed countries. The study offers recommendations to address the shortcomings of the directive as well as the accompanying measures to European governments to minimize the unintended impacts of the directive and promote inclusive trade between the EU and least developed countries.

Report available at ENG 

Contact: CCR's director Nikodemus Solitander at

Status of Human Rights Performance of Finnish Companies (SIHTI) Project

Funding: The Government of Finland’s Research, Analysis and Assessment Activities

Duration: 2020 - 2021

Status: Funded

About the project: The purpose of SIHTI is to obtain a comprehensive and in-depth overview of how Finnish companies are fulfilling their human rights responsibility, i.e. how they have implemented the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The information is relevant to policy makers and authorities, companies themselves, and other stakeholders such as researchers, investors, and NGOs. The methodology of the project is the international Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (CHRB). 

The SIHTI project focuses on three research questions:  

1. What is the status of the human rights responsibility among the Finnish companies under review?
2. What are the main challenges for companies to publish information on the fulfilment of their human rights responsibilities?
3. How suitable is the CHRB methodology as a monitoring tool in the Finnish context?

Visit the project website and follow @ProjectSihti Opens in new window  on Twitter!

Project report available at FI & ENG

Contact: CCR's director Nikodemus Solitander at

Political Action of Corporate Social Responsibility (PAROL)

Funding: Academy Project Funding

Duration: 2019 - 2023

Status: Funded - Active

PI: Prof. Frank den Hond

About the project: The project Political Action of Corporate Social Responsibility (PAROL) advances knowledge of how disparate actors organize collectively in multi-stakeholder networks that seek to induce regulatory change for sustainability. The proposed research focuses in particular on collective action and managerial decision-making in engaging with corporate political activity (CPA, the direct efforts by firms to shape government policy). We approach this phenomenon from two main perspectives: 1) firms’ non-market strategies and the organization of corporate social responsibility (CSR) as political activity, and 2) the role of temporality in organizing collective action. Our overall aim is to investigate how disparate actors organize collective action in a multi-stakeholder initiative to mobilize support for regulatory change and how organizational actors form perceptions and take decisions with regards to engaging with political activity. The proposed project makes scientific contributions to the political CSR literature and to the emerging literature on temporality and institutions in the neoinstitutional stream of management research.

Contact: CCR's director Nikodemus Solitander at

Towards an Entrepreneurial Welfare State? The Practices of Challenge-Driven Innovation Policies

Funding: Business Finland - Innovation and Growth Research

Duration: 2021 - 2024

Status: Funded - Active

Description: The entrepreneurial welfare state project explores the feasibility of pursuing challenge-driven innovation policies in the context of Finland, a small Nordic welfare state. Through co-creation activities with practitioners, and case-studies of leading challenge-driven initiatives, the project investigates and systematises the dynamic capabilities required from public organisations, businesses and other innovation intermediaries to design, implement, evaluate, and fund challenge-driven policies. The project seeks to significantly enhance our understanding of the practical tools and instruments through which welfare states can pursue an entrepreneurial role as envisioned in recent academic, policy, and business debates. Concurrently, the project determines the extent to which pursuing such a role requires a re-thinking of the Finnish welfare state, its associated mindsets, functions, capabilities, and administrative practices.

Research team:

Dr Ville Takala (PI) is Project Researcher in Management and Organisation at Hanken School of Economics and Research Associate at the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose

MSocSc Helmi Hämäläinen is Research Assistant in Management and Organisation at Hanken School of Economics and Research Scientist at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland

Dr Caroline Sundgren is Project Researcher in Management and Organisation at Hanken School of Economics

Dr Emma Nordbäck is Assistant Professor in Management and Organisation at Hanken School of Economics

Prof Martin Fougère is Professor in Management and Politics at Hanken School of Economics

Advisory board

The project is supported by a distinguished international advisory board

Pirjo Kutinlahti (Chairman of the advisory board) is Ministerial Advisor within the Innovation Policy Department of the Finnish Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment

Antti Pelkonen is Science Specialist at the Prime Minister’s Office in Finland

Kirsti Vilén is Ministerial Adviser at The Ministry of Employment and the Economy

Roope Ritvos is Director of Research Operations at Demos Helsinki

Iina Koskinen is Research impact lead at Demos Helsinki

Riina Pulkkinen is Development Manager at the Council of Tampere Region

Kalle Nieminen is Leading Specialist (Leadership training for sustainable economic policy) at the Finnish Innovation Fund, Sitra

Rainer Kattel is Deputy Director and Professor of Innovation and Public Governance at the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose

Tuukka Toivonen is Director of MA Innovation Management at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London

Jesper Christiansen is Co-founder and Director at States of Change

Paula Laine is CEO at the Finnish Climate Fund

Mari Hirvonen is Specialist (Innovation Activities) at The Itla Children’s Foundation

Report available at ENG

Contact: Dr Ville Takala or Dr Caroline Sundgren.

Chile - Finland Network on Socioenvironmental Studies for Forested Territories

Funding: CONICYT (Comisión Nacional de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica) 

Duration: 2018 

Status: Funded                                                                

About the project: An academic collaboration network between CCR and NIES Centre (Chile) focused on the approach and discussion on socio-environmental conflicts and policies in the forest sector. The network seeks to strengthen scientific exchanges between both Centres linked by the specific experience in the forest policies, specially focused in specific programmes of the forest companies and communities. 

We  explore research topics related to the following themes:

  • Forms and characteristics of socio-environmental conflict in forest environments. 
  • Governance of corporate community relations in the form of policies and strategies developed by forestry companies for their insertion and establishment of links with the community. 
  • Effects and consequences of this kind of actions in local territories.

Contact: Dr Maria Ehrnström-Fuentes at

SUSMINO - Sustainability challenges of mining in the Nordic countries: the business, politics and society 

Funding: Ekon. dr Peter Wallenbergs Stiftelse för Ekonomi och Teknik 

Durtion: 2017

Status: Application process

Participants: The project is a cooperation between Centre for Corporate Responsibility (CCR) at Hanken, Finland; Centre for Sami Studies at UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Norway and the Department of Urban and Rural Development, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden

About the project: Sweden and Finland are currently experiencing a renewed mining boom in their northern territories. Many local communities in these areas are economically and culturally dependent on reindeer herding and other land-based livelihoods. While mining operations may boost rural economies, they may also have an adverse impact on the environment and regional livelihoods. This creates a risk of social and political conflicts, which can question the sustainability of mining, affect the companies’ performance and reputation negatively, and produce cross-border political instability. There have been various research projects on the complex social, cultural and political drivers, contexts and impacts of mining in the Nordic countries. By organizing three research workshops in 2018-19, the SUSMINO project seeks to build a synthesis on the research findings of previous projects to identify the key sustainability challenges and ways to tackle them in Nordic mining. The project promotes networking between Nordic scholars in social sciences, humanities and business studies as well as with business practitioners and stakeholders. One of the workshops is dedicated for connecting Nordic junior researchers with broader international research networks and key stakeholders of Nordic mining, facilitating interdisciplinary and cross-border collaboration in doctoral supervision, and identifying further research opportunities especially for junior researchers.

Contact: Consortia leader Dr. Ville-Pekka Sorsa at