Multinational Enterprises and the Sustainable Development Goals: What Do We Know and How to Proceed?
Transnational Corporations, 24(3), 9-32, 2017
24 Pages Posted: 20 Jun 2017 Last revised: 20 Aug 2017
Date Written: June 18, 2017
Multinational Enterprises (MNEs) can play an important role in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This article examines ‘what we know’ about their participation in implementing the SDGs and their impact, both positive and negative, on People, Planet, Prosperity and Peace as identified in the United Nations (UN) 2030 Agenda. To this end, we review the research published in the main international business (IB) journals on five key SDGs that represent these four “P’s”, grouped into three categories: 1) poverty and inequality, 2) energy and climate change, and 3) peace. We summarize the findings of the 61 relevant IB studies and subsequently explore the UN’s fifth “P”, partnership, both in terms of published research on MNEs and the SDGs, and of a collaborative agenda to help address the large challenges of the 2030 Agenda. In view of the relatively limited research on MNEs and SDGs found thus far, academic institutions and international business scholars in particular are well-positioned to offer important insights about the role of business in supporting the SDGs, for which we offer suggestions, also in relation with other key actors.
Keywords: multinational enterprises; MNEs; MNCs; global firms; international business; sustainable development; SDGs; poverty; inequality; energy; climate; peace; conflict; prosperity; people; planet; social; sustainability; environment
JEL Classification: D21, D22, D63, D74, E61, F18, F23, F35, F53, F63, F64, H77, K33, M14, M16
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation