Multinational Enterprises and the Challenge of Sustainable Development
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Multinational Enterprises and the Challenge of Sustainable Development

Edited by John R. McIntyre, Silvester Ivanaj and Vera Ivanaj

Transnational corporations play a role in the design, diffusion, and consolidation of sustainable development in the context of globalization and multinational firms. In this timely book European and American contributors analyze this role and explore the complex and dynamic phenomena of economic, political, cultural and legal interactions involved.
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Chapter 9: Sustainability Metrics for Multinational Corporations – Greater Profits and a More Sustainable World

Salwa M. Beheiry


Salwa M. Beheiry INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND 1. What does not get measured does not get improved. Corporations are quite aware of this and employ metrics in managing most aspects of capitalintensive projects. Sustainable practices are viewed as business expenditure. However, they are yet to be systematically benchmarked, measured, baselined and improved on a wide scale in today’s corporate world. Benchmarking is a measurement process that allows multinationals to compare their project and program management practices internally and against Best in Class international corporations. Benchmarking should be a continuous improvement process that gives corporate management an insight into the effectiveness of their efforts in integrating sustainability into their current corporate practices. This chapter introduces a benchmarking model designed to examine the impact of corporate commitment to the three pillars of sustainability on capital project performance. Sustainable development (SD) or sustainability continues to gain favor worldwide, but multinationals are skeptical about its ultimate business value. Prior research in this area emphasized the influence of the environmental pillar of sustainability. While the environmental dimension of SD is vital, a balanced approach to the three pillars is needed. The impact of the social and the economic development aspects of sustainability has attracted more multinational business attention lately and needs to be integrated with the concept of environmental prudence before any business value analysis can be performed. Understanding this interface between the three pillars is essential to studying any causal relationship with the financial bottom line (Beheiry, 2005). The historical tendency to focus on environmental...

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