Recently, business representatives have begun to create networks that contribute to shaping the sustainable development agenda by influencing the establishment of norms, institutions and discourses. At the same time, there is a wide consensus that the power of transnational private actors in global governance has been neglected by scholars of International Relations (IR) and International Political Economy (IPE). In the past few years, new theoretical frameworks have been developed in order to identify different dimensions of business power in global governance. These approaches commonly observe the growing importance of the discursive power of business representatives and the lack of studies in this field. This paper refers to the research gap and explores how multinational companies implement discursive power in order to shape the discourse on sustainable development. Furthermore, it is argued that the specific social constructions of the concept of ‘sustainable development’ demonstrate ambivalences that the corporations have to deal with.