Mandating Benevolence: Can Companies Be Incentivized to Do Good?


In September 2015, the United Nations General Assembly introduced the Sustainable Development Goals, with the aim of addressing global issues such as economic inequality, poverty and climate change. While we have seen progress in the last four years, it is evident that we still have a long way to go when it comes to meeting these goals. In order to achieve them, all sectors of society must unite in working towards a more equitable, sustainable and peaceful future.

While many areas of the private sector — including financial institutions, investors and the media — have roles to play in the struggle to achieve these goals, this paper focuses on the role of the corporation and identifies three key actors that influence the behavior of companies: government, investors and consumers.

This paper was written by Diya Kraybill, a Knowledge@Wharton student fellow in 2019.

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