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Corporate Sustainability Information and Training in Europe
Start date: Nov 1, 2010,

There is a growing recognition around the world, seeing SMEs as a challenge in sustainability debate. SMEs have been seen as subjects unconcerned by environmental and social issues. The EC has published a report "Opportunity and Responsibility: How to help SMEs to integrate social and environmental issues into what they do". The report is clear about education and training: "Attention should be given to the integration of SR into relevant education/training for SMEs". There is evidence that entrepreneurs lack for additional knowledge and practice of SR.ISO decided to launch standard providing guidelines for social responsibility (SR) (ISO 26000) and will be published in 2010.This project addresses the need for training and education of entrepreneurs on the SR. First, we will carry out a situation analysis, in order to get more in-depth view into the SMEs activities in the field of SR, allowing us to determine their actual needs. Secondly, we will develop a training product oriented towards SMEs, based on ISO 26000 guidance. Therefore, a web based learning platform for SMEs and other stakeholders is to be developed, providing materials for self study, exercises and case studies. Thirdly, we will carry out pilot studies (case studies) of the learning product usage in various sectors across Europe and evaluate its impacts on SMEs sustainability issues.The project will enable SMEs in various sectors to assess their own performance, share best practices and case studies, build relationships with other entrepreneurs across Europe. This will lead to more effective and efficient services being provided to society and industry as SMEs will seek to improve their activities. Simultaneously, quality of their lifelong learning provision and other related services will be improved. Funding bodies will be provided by a tool to understand and improve the integration of the sustainability, rewarding social, environmental and economic improvements, and rectifying lower standards.
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