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CSR and Sustainability in Machine Tools Sector

Design MTS Project

The ''Design_MTS Defining Social Responsibility Interventions for Grounded Networking in Machine Tools Sector'' initiative aims to enable enterprises in Europe’s Machine Tool Sector (MTS) to take a strategic approach to CSR and sustainability in cooperation with relevant stakeholders.

A strategic approach to CSR is increasingly important to enterprises, especially SMEs in the Machine Tools Sector, as CSR can bring benefits in terms of risk management, cost savings, access to capital, customer relationships, human resource management and innovation capacity (New EU Communication on CSR: A Renewed EU Strategy 2011-2014 for Corporate Social Responsibility, 2011). CSR also underpins the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. 

In effect, MTS is a very strategic business sector from a CSR perspective having a potential multiplying impact on several sectors of its supply chain. Nonetheless, the sector has not developed yet an integrated and multi-stakeholder approach to CSR, which is necessary to deal with the complexity and multidimensionality of CSR. There is a need to spread awareness of CSR objectives to implement and expand socially responsible practices and best cases, disseminate responsible business conduct, and enhance the visibility of CSR. 

The project has four focus areas: employability and skills, demographic change and active aging, workplace challenges and environmental challenges. Integrating CSR into a company's core business is critical for competitiveness as well as for increasing social trust and consumer confidence in business. This project will develop awareness of CSR in the sector by integrating a multi-stakeholder approach to CSR and developing socially responsible best practice cases to enhance the visibility and value of CSR in the MTS.

This project was initiated and partly funded by the European Commission (contract 333720) and is led by University of Macerata in partnership with CSR Europe, the European Association of the Machine Tool Industries (CECIMO), Central European Initiative (CEI), Istituto Ricerche Economiche e Sociali (IRES) and the University of Nottingham. The duration of the project is 18 months, from July 2013 to December 2014.

Project participants may access shared project information here.

Project engagement and geographical outreach

The project has a European-wide scope involving 29 EIP (Enterprise and Innovation Programmes) participating countries through the membership networks of the partner organisations and more specifically: 22 EU member states, and 7 other EIP participating countries, i.e. Croatia, FYROM, Turkey, Albania, Montenegro, Serbia and Norway (EFTA/EEA Country). Design_MTS will involve relevant stakeholder groups throughout the project. Specifically, the project will engage with eight target groups: MTS enterprises, Enterprises along the supply chain, sector-based business associations, public authorities and policy-makers, civil society organisations, trade unions, academia and media.