Transnational Corporations

This journal takes a fresh look at major legal, sectorial, regional and environmental issues facing corporations operating internationally. Released three times a year, it provides in-depth policy-oriented research findings on significant issues relating to the activities of transnational corporations.


Corporate sustainability assessments: MNE engagement with sustainable development and the SDGs

The recent introduction of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) calls for an understanding of how multinational enterprises (MNEs) engage with sustainable business practices and how the SDGs may be better implemented by the private sector. Through an examination of 112 MNEs operating in the region of the Association of South-East Asian Nations, this study focuses on evaluating sustainable business practices through the lens of a corporate sustainability assessment framework. The results show that headquarters commitments of MNEs to international sustainability standards and guidelines had a key influence on their sustainability practices. These commitments included the use of tools such as the materiality analysis to identify and prioritize sustainability issues of importance to the MNE and its stakeholders and reflects a focus at the local level of the subsidiary that was in alignment with the corporate strategies of company headquarters. The results of this exploratory study suggest that it is through the use of these international sustainability standards and guidelines (such as the Global Reporting Initiative standards) that a greater consideration and incorporation of SDGs within MNE practices can be achieved. These standards and guidelines are both well accepted and already adopted by MNEs, and have an important influence on what sustainability issues and goals they consider within their operations.


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