Global Goals as a chance for SMEs?
How can small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) integrate sustainability strategies into business practice? The presentation of the research results of the CR4SME project provided both impulses for this and space for the exchange of opinions and experience.
On January 23, 2019 the project “Competence Team for Sustainable, Strategic and Opportunity-Oriented Management of SMEs” – CR4SME – funded by the City of Vienna, was concluded successfully. The day was made up of workshops with project partners in the afternoon, followed by a presentation of the findings and outcomes in the evening and a discussion and exchange of experience and knowledge about how to enhance sustainability strategies in SMEs.
In the afternoon (15:00 – 18:00) the workshop “Future Topics in Sustainability Management: The Global Goals” was held for project partners. It was designed with those involved in the CR4SME project (owners and managers of the partner companies as well as two experts in the field of “Corporate Responsibility”) inmind. In addition to a brief reflection on what has been achieved so far, the main focus was on the future development potential of these enterprises. The relevance of global goals in each enterprise and their connection to different goals and aspirations were discussed and then concrete measures for the medium-term achievement of these visions were derived.
The workshop was followed by the project final event which started at 18:30: Team leader Dr. Daniela Ortiz presented the findings and results in the fields of practical relevance of this three-year project, namely teaching and research. In the field of practical application, 20 articles were published in journals and relevant blogs, as well as an anthology which was published and eleven interviews which were given by the team (e.g. in derStandard, die Presse, profil). Besides that, guest lectures were held at FHWien der WKW and numerous events were coordinated.
In the area of teaching, organisation and presentation of the CGBE lectures, development of case studies for teaching in cooperation with the partner enterprises, the expanded involvement in the PRME network and further development of the new curricula with a focus on strategic sustainability management at FHWien der WKW were significant steps. In the field of research, two scientific articles were published in peer-reviewed journals and seven conference papers have been accepted to date. In addition, three conferences were co-organised and eight qualitative case studies – with a total of 30 interviews – and a quantitative survey with 120 enterprises were carried out.
- „How can we see global goals as an opportunity for SMEs?“
(Host: Katharina Kronsteiner)
- „How can SMEs drive innovation with social and environmental relevance?“
(Host: Barbara Coudenhove-Kalergi)
- „How can companies start?
Who or what can support this process?”
(Host: Karin Huber-Heim)
At the following buffet, the accomplished project as well as the successful event were toasted and the exchange continued.
Thanks to the results of this project and the feedback of the participants of the events as well as the increasing importance of this topic, the closing event was at the same time a starting signal for enterprises to anchor strategic sustainability management more deeply and to expand to make Global Goals even broader and deeper in the consciousness of enterprises, politics, education, research and the public.