The Sustainable Development Goals in Norway : What motivates large Norwegian companies to adopt the Sustainable Development Goals, and how are the goals prioritised?
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- Master Thesis 
The increasing engagement of businesses with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) presents a shift in the role the private sector has in the global sustainable development agenda. The purpose of this thesis is to explore what motivates large Norwegian companies to adopt the SDGs and to understand how the goals are prioritised. This qualitative study is based on semi-structured interviews with ten informants from ten large Norwegian companies. Together, these interviews resulted in the following findings. The findings of this research project suggest that while the process of adopting the SDGs varies between companies, it tends to be gradual and continuous. Further, firms seem to have internal preferences for wanting to contribute towards the SDGs, such as a desire to do good. Others were motivated by a desire for a common language or a framework for the sustainability strategy. However, the main internal reason for adopting the SDGs was to use the goals to communicate. The study also identifies that stakeholder pressure and market expectations are key external reasons that drive SDG engagement. When it comes to prioritisation, the findings indicate that firms vary in their choice of SDGs. The companies agree that not too many goals should be selected, and that prioritisation should be based on how business-relevant the goals are as well as where the company can contribute. Beyond this, the findings suggest that company characteristics such as business area might impact the SDG selection. Finally, the findings indicate that while the companies feel that the SDGs are important, the goals have not been transformational for the businesses. This thesis contributes to fill a research gap and adds to the limited literature present on the SDGs. Furthermore, the findings provide several practical implications and can, for instance, be used as inspiration by companies who consider adopting the SDGs. This study does have its limitations, such as its sample, which should be addressed in future research on this topic. Overall, this research project manages to bring more awareness towards the SDGs by highlighting how and why the Norwegian private sector engages with the 2030 Agenda.