Multinational Corporations, Private Codes, and Technology Transfer for Sustainable Development

By Baram, Michael S. | Environmental Law, January 1994 | Go to article overview

Multinational Corporations, Private Codes, and Technology Transfer for Sustainable Development


Baram, Michael S., Environmental Law


I. INTRODUCTION: SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

The struggle to advance human well-being in developing nations is on a collision course with growing efforts to protect the global environment. To prevent foreseeable conflicts, the principle of sustainable development has been proposed and has become widely accepted.(1) Putting this principle into practice will require policies that permit industrial, agricultural, and other developments, yet also protect natural resources and public health for the benefit of future generations.(2)

Technological expertise will play a vital role in sustainable development, fostering the design of new energy, transport, and water supply systems for minimal environmental impact, and enabling performance of hazardous mining and manufacturing activities in a manner that protects natural resources and public health. Technological expertise is crucial in preventing waste disposal problems, in developing biodegradable packaging, and in designing new products that are more compatible with the environment throughout their life cycles, such as substitutes for harmful chemical pesticides.(3)

Continuous advance in technological expertise is necessary for sustainable development because environmental parameters change over time. As developmental activities multiply, regional and global environments will experience greater stress no matter how carefully each activity may have been designed and conducted. As human well-being advances, citizens of developing nations are likely to place greater emphasis on the protection of natural resources and environmental amenities. As environmental sciences progress, new problems will be identified and demand mitigation. Thus, sustainable development policies must promote continuing technical advances and facilitate technology transfer for environmental protection.

Finally, policies for sustainable development must be brought to bear on the major proponents of developmental activities: private multinational firms and public agencies. Multinational corporations (MNCs) are aggressively seeking new resources, markets, joint ventures, and facility sites. Recent studies show that such global expansion is growing significantly because "it pays."(4) Public agencies in industrial countries are under increasing pressure to facilitate MNC activities in poorer nations, and counterpart agencies in those nations are pursuing development opportunities with MNCs. Thus, MNC activities are being "pushed and pulled" toward developing nations at an increasing rate, and policies for sustainable development must ensure that MNCs provide the requisite technical expertise.(5)

This Article addresses the role of MNCs in sustainable development. It evaluates one policy option for promoting the development and transfer of technological expertise: reliance on the private codes of environmental conduct that MNCs and their trade associations are developing. These private codes provide a voluntary "system" for ensuring that such firm provide the requisite technology for sustainable development.(6) Commentators have suggested other policy options for multinationals and technology, including international regulation of MNCs, government programs for transfer of MNC technology, international harmonization of standards or laws applicable to MNCs, and the extraterritorial application of laws enacted by the countries of origin of MNCs.(7)

However, as indicated in Table 1, these public sector initiatives will require substantial public sector efforts to overcome political and economic obstacles, and deserve consideration only to the extent that private voluntary codes prove inadequate.

Section II examines various types of MNC activities in developing nations. Section III surveys private codes of conduct adopted by corporations in the United States and other developed nations. Section IV concludes that corporations generally do not apply these codes in developing nations and examines the effectiveness of three approaches currently used to remedy this situation. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Multinational Corporations, Private Codes, and Technology Transfer for Sustainable Development
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.