Ricardo Maria Jiménez analyses the impact of the SDGs on RSC reports

Together with Joan Fontrodona and entitled “The impact of the SDGs on non-financial corporate communications: Analysis of CaixaBank reports (2013-2019),” studied the case of the CaixaBank entity and concluded the use of the Sustainable Development Goals to be positive

Ricardo María Jiménez, lecturer of the UIC Barcelona Faculty of Law and Humanities, together with IESE Business School professor of Ethics Joan Fontrodona, recently published an article in the prestigious academic journal Ibérica Journal in which they analyse how the Sustainable Development Goals, the well-known SDGs, have influenced the discourse in the corporate social responsibility (CSR) reports. Entitled “The impact of the SDGs on non-financial corporate communications: Analysis of CaixaBank reports (2013-2019),” the researchers used non-financial reports of CaixaBank from 2013 to 2019 as a specific case for their study.

In the context of an ever-changing market and economy, especially as it relates to social responsibility, their primary objective with this study was to examine how corporate communications change as the environments in which companies operate change, more specifically, how the increasing visibility being given to the SDGs in society at large has affected public disclosure of companies’ non-financial information.

To carry out their research, the authors used a hybrid method of analysis that included some form corpus linguistics techniques and a linguistic framing approach. As a conclusion, they indicated that the entity’s non-financial reports analysed from 2013 to 2017 revealed a clear master frame or collective action framework, with negative evaluation due to the influence of the economic crisis. By contrast, in the 2018 and 2019 reports, the SDGs functioned as the backbone event, and give coherence and consistency to the discourses. 

The research, which was carried out due to the growing interest in the study of corporate communication of businesses, shows, from the standpoint of the linguistic- methodology, that the use of corpus linguistics techniques in combination with framing analysis can help analyse changes in companies' discourse on sustainability. It is also an effective method of studying non-financial reports.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)