Analysis of Resource Efficiency Innovations and Cultures of Trust in SMEs as a Contribution for Sustainable Development

  • Project no.3432
  • Duration 09/2009 - 04/2013

What is typical for small and medium sized enterprises (SME) that practice a successful resource-efficient and innovative management?
Answering this question is the main aim of the cluster project "ResourceCulture" which is going to be realised within the funding programme "Working, Learning, Developing Competence - Being Innovative in a Changing Working Environment".

The project's hypothesis is that in enterprises that work successfully in a resource efficient way a culture of trust can substantially contribute to strengthen innovation processes, or even initially enable them.
To analyse the correlations between culture of trust and resource efficient innovations, the project is working together with the following practice partners:

  • Approx. 15-20 enterprises, their employees as well as consultants for resource efficiency - here particularly in the context of empiric field research
  • Efficiency Agency North Rhine-Westphalia (EFA) and German Material Efficiency Agency (demea) as expert partner in the field of resource efficiency

Within the project "ResourceCulture" the research questions are going to be answered by the following activities, and will lead to the following results and products respectively:

  • "A map" including the basic research principles concerning cultures of trust, innovations and resource efficiency in enterprises (rework of the basic principles and expert workshop).
  • Survey with enterprises and consultants dealing with resource efficiency giving an overview of relevant aspects for the field research.
  • Field-studies with 15-20 enterprises to analyse the complex relation between culture of trust and resource efficiency (expert interviews with decision makers and consultants as well as a series of workshops with employees).
  • Workshops with participating enterprises, employees and consultants for reflection and strategy-building and development of instruments.
  • Development of a handout for enterprises, based on the results of the workshops ("Course of action for a sustainable culture of trust aimed at resource efficiency innovation in SME").
  • Good-practice collection including case studies of the envolved enterprises.
  • Development of a "Toolbox ResourceCulture" for the practical use in enterprises.
  • Qualification module "ResourceCulture" designed for enterprises and consultants offers teaching material (pilot tested within the project).
  • Conferences showing the different research approaches to the subject and publishing of the contributions in a book "Culture of Trust - Innovation - Resource efficiency".
  • Book based on all project products for a wider public.

With its activities and products, the project is focussing on the following target groups:

  • Small and medium sized enterprises
  • Resource efficiency consultants
  • Research institutions
  • Intermediate facilities (organisations, networks etc.)

Within the project, the Wuppertal Institute acts as an expert for resource efficiency, sustainability and sustainability education. It will use its expertise mainly for the preparation of the research basics ("Map"), the development of strategies and instruments, and the creation of the resulting qualification concept.
The research center of sustainability at the University Bremen, artec, will use its expertise mainly in the field of operational "culture of trust" and empirical social research.

During the project, current results will be provided to the interested public by newsletters, publications, events and the news on the project website.

Further project information


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