To achieve sustainable development worldwide, the United Nations set 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for humanity to reach by 2030.
Society is involved in the challenge, with firms playing a crucial role. In this paper, researchers Alessia Patuelli (Northumbria University, IMT Lucca, Università di Firenze) and Fabio Saracco (IAC, CREF) provide a comprehensive and nearly real-time picture of firms’ engagement with SDGs
They used a novel interdisciplinary approach that analyzes online societal debates on Twitter with complex network methods from statistical physics. Results show that:
- SDGs themes tie conversations among major UK firms together;
- the social dimension is predominant;
- the attention to different SDGs themes varies depending on the community and sector firms belong to;
- stakeholder engagement is higher on posts related to global challenges compared to general ones;
- large UK companies and stakeholders generally behave differently from Italian ones.
This paper provides theoretical contributions and practical implications relevant to firms, policymakers, and management education. Most importantly, it provides a novel tool and a set of keywords to monitor the influence of the private sector on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.