Focused on the goals?

Examining organisational attention to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The challenge

Evidence suggests only a small proportion of institutional investors have made meaningful efforts to integrate environmental, social and governance considerations into their investment processes, in line with the United Nations’ SDGs. Many commentators believe that significant corporate action on the SDGs will only happen when influential investors demand it of the companies whose shares they own; hence research into what drives investor engagement may be useful in assisting firms and investors as they endeavour to address these issues.

The intervention

This research specifically focuses on the role investors can play in achieving the SDGs. The intervention proposed in this project involves developing a comprehensive and robust text dictionary of terms relating to the SDGs. Using computer-aided text analysis methods and big-data analytics, the project analyses the Twitter data generated by institutional investors to examine the antecedents and related outcomes of their attention to the SDGs.

The impact

Sustainable Development Goals are global goals. However, the most pressing problems are in developing counties. This research focuses on how investors – particularly those in developed countries – can contribute to helping those in developing countries. By developing and disseminating an SDGs dictionary, the research community will be able to use the insights to understand how organisations, including corporates and governments, can prioritise SDGs in their strategic agendas.

Kevin Chuah is a PhD student in Strategy and Entrepreneurship, graduating class 2022 at London Business School. Kevin’s research focuses on corporate governance, responsible investment and corporate social responsibility.

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