Resource efficiency and culture--workplace training for small and medium-sized enterprises

Sci Total Environ. 2014 May 15:481:645-8. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.11.053. Epub 2013 Dec 22.


Although there are already some qualification offers available for enterprises to support resource efficiency innovations, the high potentials that can be identified especially for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) have not been activated until now. As successful change lies in the hands of humans, the main aim of vocational education has to be the promotion of organisational and cultural changes in the enterprises. As there is already a small but increasing number of enterprises that perform very well in resource efficiency innovations one question arises: What are typical characteristics of those enterprises? Leaning on a good-practice approach, the project "ResourceCulture" is going to prove or falsify the hypothesis that enterprises being successful with resource efficiency innovations have a specific culture of trust, which substantially contributes to innovation processes, or even initially enables them. Detailed empirical field research will light up which correlations between resource efficiency, innovation and cultures of trust can be found and will offer important aspects for the improvement of management instruments and qualification concepts for workplace training. The project seizes qualification needs that were likewise mentioned by enterprises and consultants, regarding the implementation of resource efficiency. This article - based on first empirical field research results - derives preliminary indications for the design of the qualification module for the target groups resource efficiency consultants and managers. On this basis and in order to implement "ResourceCulture" conceptual and methodological starting points for workplace training are outlined.

Keywords: Qualification; Resource efficiency; SMEs; Trust culture.

MeSH terms

  • Conservation of Natural Resources / methods*
  • Culture
  • Education / methods
  • Environmental Pollution / prevention & control
  • Environmental Pollution / statistics & numerical data
  • Organizational Culture*
  • Workplace