Is the globalized world reordering itself?

Letter from the Editors

Bernd Winters, Janine Heck

Two years ago, we described that the pandemic has added an additional element of chaos to an already volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous world and we have asked, among other things, the questions: What about the highly globalized value chains – will we try to move the supply chains back to Europe and is it at all possible? Will we value climate protection more or less than before? The situation today still feels more like not normal than new normal, especially against the backdrop of the outbreak of the war in Ukraine. The articles in this issue take up some aspects of the questions posed two years ago and show that the world is still in a process of reordering itself.

Janvee Garg´s and Anil Kumar Singh´s “An exploration of the ankle-biters and their role in business ecosystems” article contributes to the understanding of the term “ankle-biters” which is used for start-ups that challenge incumbents in established industries. They trace the term‘s etymology, propose a classification and give examples from different industries, e.g. the pharmaceutical industry. 

Reporting the environmental footprint of chemical products is a huge challenge for companies. However, it´s increasing expected from society and the regulatory side. Lara Kämmerer, Denis Ludwig, Carla Mereu, and Ari Pankiewicz address this topic with their article “Product footprint reporting for chemicals companies”. They outline and compare two product footprint reporting frameworks: GHG Protocol’s Product Standard and the EU Commission’s Product Environmental Footprint. 

Marcus Ehrhardt, Christine O´Brien, and Wilderich Heising ask the question “After COVID, what´s next for pharma supply chains?” in their commentary. At first, they look at the current structure of the pharmaceutical industry: A supply chain network with suppliers in all parts of the world with high dependence on certain countries. This enables cost reduction but leads also to management challenges and complexity. Another important influencing factor is the topic of sustainability, particularly climate change. As the majority of emissions in the pharma sector are scope 3 emissions, a look at the entire value chain is necessary. They close by outlining and summarizing levers to increase resilience and sustainability in pharma supply chains. 

Please enjoy reading the second issue of the nineteenth volume of the Journal of Business Chemistry. We are grateful for the support of all authors and reviewers for this new issue. If you have any comments or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact us at  For more updates and insights on management issues in the chemical industry, follow us on LinkedIn:

Janine Heck (Executive Editor)           Bernd Winters (Executive Editor)


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