Organizations' engagement with sustainable development goals: From cherry‐picking to SDG‐washing?

Iñaki Heras‐Saizarbitoria, Laida Urbieta, Olivier Boiral
2021 Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management  
This article analyzes the organizational engagement with the United Nations sustainable development goals (SDGs), an initiative for corporate social responsibility also referred to as the 2030 Agenda. Engagement with the SDGs by organizations all around the world, whatever their sector and size, has attracted a lot of media interest and heightened expectations. Nevertheless, there is a lack of empirical work that sheds light on the commitment to this initiative at the organizational level. In
more » ... der to fill this gap, this article examines the characteristics of engagement with the SDGs of 1370 organizations from 97 countries, taking data from their sustainability reports. The study looks at how and why organizations engage with the SDGs, as well as the priority they assign to them. The findings point to a superficial engagement with the SDGs for the vast majority of organizations, which suggests a process of "SDG-washing". Implications for managers, public policy makers and other stakeholders are analyzed.
doi:10.1002/csr.2202 fatcat:aa2lh2cuafhqtdibbdwt33inhu