Multinational corporations important players in the background of COP21

Goals will not be be achieved without significant engagement and investment from the private sector, particularly from multinational corporations.

Organisations such as Marks & Spencer have implemented initiatives which go beyond efficiency gains  to “eco-effectiveness”, reducing total ecological impact.

Organisations such as Marks & Spencer have implemented initiatives which go beyond efficiency gains to “eco-effectiveness”, reducing total ecological impact.

In an increasingly globalised economy, multinational corporations are some of the world’s wealthiest and most powerful entities. Just over 1,300 companies control 80 per cent of global operating revenues, with 40 per cent of this controlled by only 147 organisations. The annual revenue of a company such as Royal Dutch Shell or Walmart is more than double the GDP of many countries, including Ireland.

Such wealth gives business enormous potential to contribute to sustainable economic and social development. In recent years “sustainability” has become a business buzzword. However, despite more than 20 years of business engagement with social and environmental issues, global indicators suggest we are farther away from achieving just, stable and resilient societies that function within increasingly vulnerable ecological limits.

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