CSR Framework

The EUROPEAN GREEN DEAL, promoting a fair and prosperous society, with a modern resource-efficient and competitive economy, and a climate neutral Europe in 2050, is the European response to tackle climate change and environmental-related challenges. The actions of companies and especially SMEs, accounting for 66% of private sector employment and approximately 60-70% of the industrial pollution in Europe have significant impacts in this regard. This applies to the products and services they offer, but also to working conditions, human rights, health, the environment, innovation, education and training.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is the strategic, comprehensive and sustainable response from companies to address those issues. Even though CSR has been on the agenda for some years now, the implementation rate in SMEs is still alarmingly low and they are lagging far behind in responding to the justified demands of Civic Society. Many of them still believe the topic is reserved for large companies, not being aware of the direct benefits but referring to the resources they consider necessary and the existing hurdles.

The CSR-Ready project and in particular our CSR FRAMEWORK directly responds to the specificity of CSR implementation in SMEs and will help enable them to develop company specific strategies and measures based on a sound analysis of their specific impact areas and benefits.

Our CSR FRAMEWORK builds on the existing CSR theory and initially research on challenges and gaps helps explain the low implementation rate in SMEs. Specifically, our CSR FRAMEWORK considers the benefits and challenges of implementing CSR in SMEs, the drivers of CSR in SMEs and obstacles to their CSR implementation. We also present cases of good practice and conclusions and recommendations for the promotion of CSR in SMEs.

In addition to SMEs and Start-Ups, our CSR FRAMEWORK will be of particular interest to VET organisations, management consultants, entrepreneurship and SME support bodies and regional and national organisations responsible for Entrepreneurship policy.