Learning from each other: UK global businesses, SMEs, CSR and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Williams, Sarah ORCID logo ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6923-5217 and Murphy, David F. ORCID logo ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8416-5627 (2023) Learning from each other: UK global businesses, SMEs, CSR and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Sustainability, 15 (5). p. 4151.

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.3390/su15054151


Situated within the context of ‘Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’ and the associated 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), this article explores some current understandings about corporate social responsibility (CSR) and related ethical and sustainable business policies and practices within UK-based global businesses. It also considers the potential lessons for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) based on the approaches of global companies. The research engaged senior CSR managers from UK global brand businesses to discuss their CSR perceptions and practices. To the surprise of researchers, the participants described how they were moving past ‘CSR’ to instead use the SDGs as their framework. The findings suggest that global companies are reframing CSR within the broader concept of sustainability, influenced by the SDGs, and are willing to offer advice to SMEs as part of a broader supply chain collaboration process. While there is emerging literature focusing on the practical implications of the SDGs for global business, there appears to have been less attention to the potential for knowledge sharing between global companies and SMEs linked to the SDGs. Our research asked participants about recommendations for SMEs and these are also discussed in this paper. Our intention is to make a particular contribution to the latter area of inquiry and demonstrate the relevance of the SDGs to business, regardless of size.

Item Type: Article
Journal / Publication Title: Sustainability
Publisher: MDPI
ISSN: 2071-1050
Departments: Institute of Business, Industry and Leadership > Institute for Leadership and Sustainability (IFLAS)
Additional Information: This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2023 16:30
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2024 14:45
URI: https://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/6930


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