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

See all articles by Ans Kolk

Ans Kolk

University of Amsterdam Business School

Arno Kourula

University of Amsterdam Business School

Niccolò Pisani

University of Amsterdam Business School

Date Written: June 18, 2017

Abstract

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

Kolk, Ans and Kourula, Arno and Pisani, Niccolò, Multinational Enterprises and the Sustainable Development Goals: What Do We Know and How to Proceed? (June 18, 2017). Transnational Corporations, 24(3), 9-32, 2017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2988607

Ans Kolk (Contact Author)

University of Amsterdam Business School ( email )

Plantage Muidergracht 12
Amsterdam, 1018 TV
Netherlands
+31 20 525 4289 (Phone)
+31 20 525 5281 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.anskolk.eu

Arno Kourula

University of Amsterdam Business School ( email )

Roetersstraat 18
Amsterdam, 1018WB
Netherlands

Niccolò Pisani

University of Amsterdam Business School ( email )

Plantage Muidergracht 12
Amsterdam, 1018 TV
Netherlands

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