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Identification of the sustainability orientation of startups over time using machine learning

The world is facing many social and environmental challenges; the advancing climate change, for example, is permanently altering entire landscapes. This requires a holistic approach to managing the associated changes and continuously reducing emissions. Meeting these challenges cannot be done by individual states alone but also requires the initiative of private individuals and companies. This includes startups as well, and so the Green Startup Monitor 2018 already indicates that two-thirds of all startups surveyed aim to have a positive social or environmental impact. However, it is unclear how the sustainability orientation of startups emerges from startups and how it develops over time.

For this reason, the research project addresses these issues. It uses machine learning to determine the sustainability orientation of startups over time and examines the public communication of startups. At the same time, the results will be compared with classical text analysis tools. The project will also investigate how initial orientation affects later orientation and whether certain events cause a change in sustainability orientation (e.g., venture capital funding).

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