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Greening the Business:

Green Business Management Trainings GREENB

ERASMUS+ PROGRAMME

[DURATION: September 2015 – August 2017]

Summary Report on Training Needs Assessment ITPIO, Bulgaria

Intellectual Output 1 - Training needs assessment

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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Contents

1. Introduction ........................................................................................................................................ 3

2. Results from the desk research .......................................................................................................... 5 3. Results from the questionnaires ........................................................................................................ 9 4. Results from the interviews ............................................................................................................. 21 5. Results from the focus groups .......................................................................................................... 28

6. Best practices identified ................................................................................................................... 31 7. Overall conclusions about the training needs of SMEs in managing a green business.................. 32

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1. Introduction The objective of this report is to summarise the findings and results of the research on the training needs assessment of managers and employees in SMEs in the field of green business development, carried out in all GreenB project the partners’ countries - France, Bulgaria, Italy, Lithuania and Slovenia. The research was conducted according to common methodology that includes:  desk research on national green business state of play;  identification of country’s best practices in green business;  questionnaire and interview of managers and employees in SMEs for identification of most important areas of knowledge and skills for greening the business;  focus group discussion on the training needs identified as a result of administering the questionnaire and provision of interviews. The current report was elaborated on the basis of the national reports on training needs assessment provided by the partners.

All partners have presented information concerning the main specifics of green business in their countries. The countries are at different stages in their business “greening” but all are working on the matter and striving for better results. As it seems, from the French national report, France is working hard to achieve the goal of “greening” as its economy is striving to remain one of the top in Europe and in the world. For this purpose, they will have to incorporate innovative business models including very much the green perspective of the business.

Slovenia on the other hand, is traditionally an environmentally focused country and the Slovenian people and business probably realise that this way they will ensure the brighter future of next generations and generate more long term value for the companies and economy as a whole.

The Italian economy is claimed to have already exceeded the European Union’s target for greening for 2020 because of the massive “greening” of the electricity sector which have done a significant jump in the last 5 years. However, this sector is not alone. It seems that the Italian economy has done much in the past few years to go “green”. The chemistry and “Made in Italy” sectors have seen remarkable developments toward “greening” as well, which demonstrates the highly advanced Italian economy. On the other hand, the Lithuanian government has done some efforts to promote the development of “green business” but from the report is becoming clear that the achievements are not enough satisfactory. More investment in waste management and recycling could help SMEs create new market solutions and find new market niches.

In Bulgaria the situation is different. There isn’t much green activity in the business field yet. The country is falling behind the western European Union members and the lag seems to be enhanced by

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the lack of external and administrative support which many companies claim to be decisive for the potential “greening” of their businesses.

It can be said that overall, the partners have used similar ways for implementation of the research methodology at national level. In all cases questionnaires were administered by e-mail and most of the countries conducted the interviews by phone or face to face, in France by using a personal access to a web page to each participant who previously answered the questionnaire. Only Bulgarian team reports that they met difficulties in involving companies to fill in the questionnaire they finally succeeded. It was easy for Italian Chamber of Commerce in Lyon to identify French green business companies using its the database and the support of a regional business magazine, and involve them in the survey. Lithuanian partner, as academic institution, identified the green business features in the country prior to the identification of companies. Then, a lot of “green” companies and their experience were analysed. After that, the questionnaires were administered and interviews conducted. The current report is structured as the national reports and includes the following parts:  Results from the desk research;  Results from the questionnaires;  Results from the interviews;  Results from the focus groups;  Best practices identified;  Overall conclusions about the training needs.

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2. Results from the desk research Sources of information used

The sources, which the partners used, were national strategic and programme documents, legiaslation and official statistical data in the field of sustainable development, especially environment protection, energy efficiency, use of renewable energy sources. Lithuanian experts used academic publications, as well. Brief analysis of national polices related to green business development

All partners have presented the national policies related to green business development in the context of the common European sustainable development goals.

The Slovenian report stresses on the fact that the country was among the first that have drawn a comprehensive strategy for a transition to a low carbon society. The strategy proposed the vision of Slovenia in 2050 as a highly integrated and inclusive society with an excellent business sector and a high quality of life, space and natural environment.

France also reports on its achievements having the world’s third best-rated energy system, ahead of 102 countries, according to a study by Accenture/World Economic Forum. The country sets ambitious goals for future to be a “nation of environmental excellence” and declares it will encourage the development of renewable energy from biofuels, wind and solar power. Technological innovation will be encouraged through public investment funds, simplified administrative procedures and planning rules for wind farms. As part of its “Green New Deal”, France has also set itself an ambitious target of achieving a 23% share of renewable energy in domestic final energy consumption by the year of 2020. Moreover, the French legislature has just passed into law the "energy transition for green growth" Bill (September 2015). The Bill's headline targets to halve French energy consumption by 2050 (cutting it by a fifth by 2030) and a 30 per cent reduction in the overall consumption of fossil fuels by 2030, on 2012 levels. This is on top of the aim to reduce France's reliance on nuclear power from 75 per cent of total energy use to 50 per cent in 15 years' time. From the provided information, it is becoming clear that France is willing to really step up the “greening” of its society and business.

In Italy the objectives are to meet the European Union’s ten-year growth strategy. The actions in implementation of the National Energy Strategy the country has already exceeded the target set for 2020, renewable energy to be 17% of gross final consumption, thanks to a run of the electricity sector which saw a doubling of the green share in just five years, which is a stimulus to continue the process of de-carbonisation of the energy system. As in Italy, Bulgaria national strategic vision “Bulgaria 2020” has set up objectives, which almost coincide with the European ones: Reduction of greenhouse emissions from heating power stations on market principles through participation in the EU scheme for GHE trading; 16% share of RES in total final energy consumption and 10% of transport energy consumption in 2020;

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The National Energy Strategy 2020 defines the the aim of 50% reduction of energy intensity of GDP by 2020. It is important to point out that Bulgaria has achieved its 2020 renewable energy target in 2012. As it is in Slovenia, in Lithuania is visible longer term planning and some of the national documents are outlining the perspective to the year of 2030 and some even to 2050. The country is on a par with the EU average in green business area according to 2013 data. The government has done a lot to help SMEs produce more green products and services. However, the outcomes did not meet expectations. As is evident from the national reports of the countries, all of them have established strategies in support of green business development. Time will show whether these policies will bring the desired effect on the economy and society. All countries demonstrate strong commitment to reach EU and national objectives in the field and are working systematically. They have achieved results and gained experience which no doubt will generate positive effect on further project implementation and outcomes. Major sectors of green business in the partners’ countries

In the different counties different sectors and brances have developed green business practices outlined in the national reports.

France is part of the leaders in several sectors of the green economy, essentially the “historical” ecoindustries in which global companies are built (water and sanitation, recycling and recovery of waste) relying on their home market. There are also other productive chains that are remarkable on the international scene, particularly in the case of the building sector with low environmental impact (standards, practices, regulations, tools support...), bio-based materials, green chemistry, biofuels or metrology and instrumentation. On the contrary, the most green business sector in Italy is the one that traditionally has been considered the greatest enemy of the environment – chemistry. The country is the European leader in the recycling industry. Another Italian strong point of small enterprises is the “made in Italy” sector. It is reported that in the food sector 43% of small businesses (2100 companies) invest in green technologies. For Slovenia, the major sectors that already have established green way of working are manufacturing, water management and waste management, agriculture and tourism. Major sectors of green business in Bulgaria are the renewable energy sources, green products and services and the organic farming.

Concerning Lithuania, analysing main product and service groups to which environmental criteria were applied most, it can be seen that construction works account to more than 80% of all products and services purchased, the rest being architecture and engineering services, agriculture and forestry, furniture, office equipment and materials. The different countries implement green business principles in different sectors but all of them are important ones. This is to show that the economies are largely starting to think and act greener. Going green comes with other benefits as it is not only good for the environment but also good for GreenB, 2015-1-FR01-KA204-015377


the company because it is a powerful marketing tool. Many companies incorporate green way of working primarily because of this reason. Employment impact of green business

The jobs in the green economy in France include a set of professions, some of which are related to the environment (“professions vertes”) and others are needed to meet the challenges of the green economy (“professions verdissantes”). Between 2004 and 2012, eco-activities employment grew regularly (+ 3.9% in annual average against 0.3% in the whole of the economy). This dynamism is focused in the field of renewable energy (+ 11.6% in annual average). Organic farming contributes also but to a lower extent.

The green companies in Italy, which are less than a quarter of all, will take 43.6% of total recruitments in industry and services for the current year. The “Green trend” has proved to be a strategic factor for “Made in Italy” manufacturing where the number of employees represents 13.2% of total national employment. Only in 2014 there were almost 294,200 new jobs requiring green skills. Concerning the Slovenian green business, it has been reported that in 2011 88% of all the green jobs have been accounted to the manufacturing, water and waste management, agriculture and construction sectors, most of which were already outlined and represent the most important green business spheres.

VGTU has done a comprehensive research on the employment impact of “green” business in EU. The research shows that Lithuanian green employment in average is better than EU average and is a bit over 1% of the total labour force for the year of 2008. According to estimates in Bulgaria, green investments equal to 2% of GDP in energy production, construction, transport and manufacturing, can lead to creation of 26 000 to 35 000 additional jobs just in the first year of investment. Investments in green interventions in the transport sector have the largest employment generation potential. In terms of jobs created per Euro of investment, the transport sector is twice as efficient as the construction sector and three to four times more efficient than the manufacturing sector for Bulgaria. The first two sectors are well developed in the country and so does their greening. From the above, a conclusion could be drawn that the more powerful the economy – the more green jobs are opened as these countries are leading with an example to how the future will look like. However, it can also be seen that the other countries are seeing the benefits from greening, as well, and are heading that way although with smaller steps. Conclusions about the development of green business in the partners’ countries with respect to policies and practices

All the countries are seeing the benefits from potential greening of their economies and are taking steps toward achieving a “greener” business development, considering the achievements in implementation of national strategic documents and new legislation adopted. The French state is strongly encouraging the firms and society to go environmentally friendly with different instruments. The Italians realise that very often the small and medium enterprises are the key to innovation and GreenB, 2015-1-FR01-KA204-015377


are helping them to do more. According to the Slovenian report, the country’s objectives are with very long term horizon in almost all economic sectors, including number of jobs to be created. Another conclusion is that Bulgaria’s current outlook, expressed in the report, is for prolonged period of slow growth. It is also claimed that companies and public institutions are aware of the need to develop green business and Bulgarian market of green products and services grows at different pace according to demand on foreign and local markets.

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3. Results from the questionnaires The point of this section is to present the findings from the questionnaire results which each partner administered. All numbers and figures are in percentages for every country. Number of companies involved, number of questionnaires filled in

In answering the questionnaire the partners involved 131 companies in total. In some companies the questionnaire was completed by more than one employee and the total number of questionnaires filled in is 209. The table below presents information about the number of companies involved and the total number of questionnaires filled in by countries. Slovenia 21 40

Number of companies involved Number of questionnaires filled in

France 39 40

Italy 22 43

Bulgaria Lithuania 22 27 44 42

Profile of respondents with respect to position in the company, educational level, size of the company, sector of economic activities, geographical coverage of activities (questions 1.1. – 1.5)

In the graph below the profile of respondents according to their position in the company (question 1.1.) is summarized for each country.

Position in the company (in %) 18 73

22 5

Slovenia

51

35

26

47

23

France

Owner

Italy

Manager

73

11 16

Bulgaria

Employee

59

29 12

Lithuania

Employees prevail in all countries (in Slovenia and Bulgaria being the major part of respondents), except France. Next come managers, most strongly represented in France, followed by Lithuania, Italy, Slovenia. Owners in 3 of the countries have the lowest share, while in France it is the biggest one among the respondents not only in the country but in the whole partnership.

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This graph below shows summarised results from question 1.2. regarding the educational level of the respondents.

3

25

5 3 15

72

77

Slovenia

France

higher education

Education level (in %) 7 2

18

28

secondary general education

91

73

63

Italy

7 2

9

Bulgaria

Lithuania

secondary vocational education

other

It can be seen that the majority of the respondents possess higher education in contrast with the secondary vocational education and another types of education, which represent the smallest part of the respondents.

Size of your company (in %) 50 38 12

Slovenia

30

42

38

57

26

32

32

France

Italy

micro

small

16 27 Bulgaria

medium

33 50 17

Lithuania

The graph above shows in what kind of enterprise (in terms of its size) the respondents are working. All types of enterprises are represented but at a different extent in the separate countries. In Bulgaria, Slovenia and Italy the medium ones have the highest share in the respective countries (in Bulgaria above half of the companies involved and in Slovenia – half). In Lithuania half of the companies are small, while in the French sample all types are relatively equally represented, the small enterprises being with the highest share. A conclusion can be drawn from the graph below that respondents working in companies operating in the agriculture were scarce (the sector being represented in 2 countries - Bulgaria and France). GreenB, 2015-1-FR01-KA204-015377


Also, it can be said that most of the people that participated in the GreenB questionnaire are working either in the services sector or in other economic fields.

3

Economic sector the company is operating in (in %)

51

35

40

Slovenia

industry

5

35

22 France

agriculture

47

30

33 46

24

Italy

59 43 17

5 5

Bulgaria

services (trade, banking, logistics etc.)

Lithuania other

Geographical coverage of your activities (in %) 21 64

19 17 Slovenia

53

55 65

25

14

12

local

57 41

10 France

26

regional

Italy

national

4

Bulgaria

international

7

10

Lithuania

Judging from the data provided by the partners, summarized in the above graph, it can be seen that most of the respondents work in companies which operate nationally or internationally and fewer are those who work in locally or regionally concentrated firms. Experience in greening the business (questions 2.1. - 2.5)

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There weren’t any significant differences in opinions between owners, managers or employees for these questions.

Have you ever setup/started/worked in a green business organization?

3 5 2

8 5

23

2 5

7

16

21

34

57 84

67 30 Slovenia Yes

No

France

Italy

Planned in the near future

72

59

Bulgaria

Lithuania

Preparations for implementation

other

The graph shows that most of the asked people give a straightforward “yes” or “no” answer to this question with the majority giving the positive response. The only exception from this is France where 57% answer “no” and 30% answer “yes”. Very little amount of people have chosen different answer to this question.

Which is the field of green business in your organization (in %)?

5 12 46 8

24 7

38 7

29

24

Slovenia other

France

10 44 27 19

Italy

8 11 49 8

24 Bulgaria

Trainings on green business management

9 6

30 12 43 Lithuania

Environmental protection like (separate waste collection, waste water treatment, using environmentally friendly materials and products, etc.) Using renewable energy sources like (using solar energy for hot water and electricity, biomass and biodiesel production/consumption, windmill energy production, etc.) Energy efficiency measures like (thermal insulation of building, energy efficient lighting, heating and cooling, optimization of production processes, using energy efficient cars and trucks, car pool, etc.)

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In all of the countries the majority of the respondents point out that the green part of the businesses they are working in is some kind of environmental protection or energy efficiency measures which are represented in various ways of preservation. The rest of the possible answers were less given by the participants.

2 6 9 6 13

What were the success factors for greening your company? (in %) 9

18 8

22 64

26 17

Slovenia

economic situation

France

competences of employees

involvement of external partners

6 6

14 8

25

23

22

47 8

Italy

8 3

20 24

25

32

16

13

Bulgaria

competences of managers

Lithuania

actions for additional qualification of the staff other

The answers from this question seemed to be rather diverse but there can be seen some kind of trend. It seems that a significant part of the respondents think that the competences of both managers and employees are largely considered a success factor for greening of the companies. Bulgaria and Lithuania claim that apart from these, the actions for additional qualification of the staff play a crucial part in the successful greening and Slovenia on the other hand point out that the economic situation has proven by far the most important factor (over 60% give this answer). From the data summarized in the graph below it seems that the most wide-spread way for communicating green initiatives and with stakeholders is the internet, which holds the biggest part of the answers in every country. Another significant answer that was given was apparently that the participants’ companies do not give information about their green initiatives, as it is in France – as much as 30% of the respondents in the country answered this way, which is almost the same amount of people as the ones who replied that they communicate their green initiatives through the internet. Newspapers are another channel pointed, which according to the data in Lithuania come next after internet, while in Slovenia and Italy the second biggest share belongs to trainings.

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How do you communicate green initiatives and information of your organisaton with stakeholders (in %)? 3 10 7

14 5 10

51

Slovenia

other

2 5

7

4

11 2 10

30

17

13

17

4 5

4 3 12

13 7 1 10

26

70 43

32 France

4 11

Italy

exhibitions and fairs

Bulgaria

37 Lithuania

we do not communicate about green initiatives trainings

TV and radio

newspapers and specialized magazines

internet

The results presented below clearly show that the majority of respondents are interested in participation in potential green business training. The only country that it seems is not like that is Slovenia where the answer “no” is predominant with 68% against 32% for “yes”.

If green business management education, training and development was made available to you, would you be willing to participate?

68

32 Slovenia

33

67

France

2

8

5

98

92

95

Italy

Bulgaria

Lithuania

Yes

No

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Green business management needs and skills gap analysis (questions 3.1. – 3.4)

There weren’t any significant differences in opinions between the sub-groups (owners, managers or employees) for these questions.

Do you think you require green business management training and development? 2

70

Slovenia

10

86

90

Bulgaria

Lithuania

50 98

30

14

50

France

Italy

Yes

No

Much like the last question of the previous section, Slovenian participants are the most sceptical towards potential green business training. Also France is a bit ambivalent regarding the answer of this question, scoring 50:50% in the answer sheets. Apart from Slovenia and France though, Italian, Bulgarian and Lithuanian respondents agree that they need such training.

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Which are the most 3 important fields of knowledge in enabling your green business management?

3

24 10 9 11

10 10 10 8 14 17

3

23

19

Slovenia

France

Italy

12

11 8 8 9

14

18 9

20

13 16 2 15

16

8

14

23 13

Bulgaria

7

22

8 7 14

17 18 7

Lithuania

Change management in green business Eco-innovations

Greening the business – approaches and tools Project management Energy management

Corporate social responsibility Environmental protection

Business sustainable development in the globalised world

The data in the graph above shows that all fields were selected by different number of respondents and none – prevails substantially, which reflects the different needs of companies with respect to future training. However the following ranking of fields according the attracted number could be drawn:  “Eco innovations” – it attracts the highest share of opinions in three countries (Slovenia, Italy, Lithuania) and is second in preference in Bulgaria;  “Environment protection” – it comes first in France and Bulgaria and second in Slovenia and Lithuania and third in Italy;  “Corporate social responsibility” – second in France and third in Slovenia and Lithuania;  “Energy management” - second in Italy, third in France and Lithuania, fourth in Slovenia;  “Greening the business – approaches and tools” – fourth for Bulgaria and fifth for the other four countries;  “Business sustainable development in the globalised world” – third for Bulgaria, fourth for France, Italy, sixth for Slovenia and Lithuania;  “Project management” – fourth for Italy, sixth for France, Slovenia, Bulgaria and Lithuania;  “Change management in green business” – fifth for France, sixth for Italy, Lithuania and Bulgaria, seventh for Slovenia. For most of the participating countries the opinions about the most important skills needed for green business behaviour seem even more dispersed compared to the preferences with respect to fields of knowledge (graph below). GreenB, 2015-1-FR01-KA204-015377


Which are the most 3 important skills in enabling your green business behaviour in your workplace? 3

11

10

15

10

20

23

14

11

6

7

France

Risk Taking

Communication

6

25

17 12

23

17

4

20

16

18

12

16

18

Slovenia

5

21

29 2

Self-Efficacy Leadership

Italy

Creativity

3

18 5 15 20

17 13

9

9

Bulgaria

Lithuania

Persistence

Pro-Activeness Other

The ranking of skills according to the share of respondents that selected them could be summarized as follows:  Communication – first in Slovenia and France, second in Italy, third in Bulgaria, fourth in Lithuania;  Self-efficacy – first in Italy and Bulgaria, third in Slovenia, fourth in France, fifth in Lithuania  Pro-activeness – first in Lithuania, second in Slovenia, third in France and Italy, fourth in Bulgaria;  Creativity – second in France, third in Bulgaria and Lithuania, fifth in Slovenia, sixth in Italy;  Persistence – second in Bulgaria and Lithuania, fifth in France and Italy, sixth in Slovenia;  Leadership – fourth in Slovenia and Italy, fifth in France, sixth in Bulgaria, seventh in Lithuania;  Risk taking – last in all countries selected form the listed skills. In two countries (France and Lithuania) – few respondents marked “other” without specifying. The data about fields of knowledge selected by respondents as areas they need additional training is presented in the graph below. The opinions are even more dispersed compared to the results of previous two questions and the differences between countries are more. However it should be pointed out that summarized results in general are in compliance with the results obtained with respect to most important for green business management fields of knowledge and skills.

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The ranking with regard the fields in which training is needed according to the number of respondents that selected them shows the following picture:  With respect to countries’ specifics:  In 3 of the countries (Slovenia, France and Italy) the 5 most important areas that need improvement include fields of knowledge, as well as skills: GreenB, 2015-1-FR01-KA204-015377


In Slovenia first ranks “self-efficacy”, followed by “Business sustainable development in the globalised world”, “Corporate social responsibility”, “Communication” and “Energy management”. In France first place is for “Eco-innovations” and “Risk taking”, followed by “Corporate social responsibility”, “Energy management”, “Environmental protection” and “Business sustainable development in the globalised world”. In Italy first comes “Eco-innovations”, second is “Communication”, followed by “Environmental protection”, “Greening the business – approaches and tools”, “Project management”.  In 2 countries (Bulgaria and Lithuania) the top 5 include only fields of knowledge: In Bulgaria “Environmental protection” comes first, second rank 3 fields - “Eco-innovations”, “Greening the business – approaches and tools”, “Change management in green business”, followed by “Business sustainable development in the globalised world”, “Corporate social responsibility” and “Project management”. In Lithuania “Change management in green business” ranks first, followed by “Greening the business – approaches and tools”, “Eco-innovations”, Business sustainable development in the globalised world” and “Environmental protection”.  In 2 countries (Italy and Lithuania) there are fields and skills not selected by respondents; In Italy these are 6, including predominantly skills - “Risk Taking”, “Self-Efficacy”, “Creativity”, “Pro-Activeness” and “Persistence” and 1 area of knowledge - “Change management in green business”. In Lithuania 2 skills were not pointed out - “Creativity” and “Persistence”.  In 2 countries (Slovenia and Italy) there are the fields of knowledge, ranked in the other countries among the top 5 are lower positions: In Slovenia these are “Eco-innovations” and “Environmental protection”. In Italy – “Business sustainable development in the globalised world”, “Corporate social responsibility”.  For Slovenia and France “Energy management” seems more important (respectively at third and fifth position) than for Italy, Lithuania (both sixth) and Bulgaria (eighth).  With respect to the ranking of areas included in the top 5 in at least 3 of the countries the following could be summarized:  “Eco-innovations” – first for France and Italy, second for Bulgaria and third for Lithuania;  “Environmental protection” – first for Bulgaria, third for Italy, fourth and fifth for France and Lithuania respectively;  “Business sustainable development in the globalised world” – second for Slovenia, third for Bulgaria, fourth for Lithuania and fifth for France;  “Corporate social responsibility” – second for France, third for Slovenia, fourth for Bulgaria and fifth for Lithuania;  “Greening the business – approaches and tools” – second for Bulgaria and Lithuania and fourth for Italy;  “Project management” – fourth for Lithuania, fifth for Bulgaria and Italy.

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Conclusion about training needs assessment

 The outlined similarities and differences among countries most probably are due to national specifics in economic development, green business support and training provided so far to SMEs.  The areas of knowledge and skills in green business defined reflect the needs of respondents, since the share of those who have pointed “other” is minimal.  Consequently the training content has to include all areas of knowledge and skills defined and the curricula should be developed as a common for all partners basic version with obligatory and optional content of the separate modules. This way every country could tailor the contents to its specifics, as identified by the results analysed.

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4. Results from the interviews General information

In total 118 organizations were involved and 189 persons working there at different positions were interviewed. Summarized information by countries is presented in the table below. Number of organisations involved Number of interviews conducted

Slovenia 21 38

France 39 39

Italy 21 41

Bulgaria Lithuania 26 11 44 27

Of these numbers approximately 1/6th were training institutions and 5/6ths – companies. Concerning the positions of the people involved – around 40% were employees, 30% - owners and 30% were managers. Summary of results obtained during the interview

Here will be provided summarised information on the interview results. All numbers and figures will be given in percentage for every country. There weren’t any significant differences in opinions between respondents working in companies or training institutions, as well as between owners, managers or employees.

What do you understand by the term/concept of "green business"? 34

34

11 16

50

60

19

21

17

France

Slovenia

11

14

two or more of the listed below

13

Italy

45

52 7

27

15

14

26 Lithuania

14

Bulgaria

the organization has internal initiatives related to environmental protection the activities of the organization is directly or indirectly related to environmental protection the organization's primary activities are related to the trade/production of bio/eco products

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In all countries the different aspects of green business were represented although with different weight.

Only in Italy a predominant common opinion was registered – for most of the respondents (60%) green business implies that “the activities of the organization are directly or indirectly related to environmental protection”.

In 3 countries (France, Slovenia and Bulgaria) the majority of respondents is distributed between a broader understanding including two or all listed options and availability on “internal initiatives related to environmental protection” but in different ratio in each country:  In France both opinions attract equal shares;  In Slovenia the first one is shared by half of respondents and the second - by substantially lower share of interviewees (19%);  In Bulgaria also the first opinion prevails with 45% of opinions, followed by the second – 27%. In Lithuania, as in Slovenia, about half of interviewed (52%) share the broader concept about green business, but followed with twice lower share (26%) of those who focus on “trade/production of bio/eco products”. The results about the green business understanding are enriched by the answers to the next question (data summarized in the graph below).

What do you think is most important for a business to be able to be defined as "green"?

3 18

77

France

31

17 7

69

76

Slovenia

Italy

other

11 33

56 Lithuania

14 41

45 Bulgaria

the main activity (business) of the company

Green activities / actions of the employees in the company; consciousness of environmental protection

According to the summarised information in the graph, most of the interviewed in all countries except Bulgaria (where this pinion attracted the highest share of interviewees - 45%) pointed out “consciousness of environmental protection”, followed by “the main activity of the company”, more strongly represented in Slovenia and Lithuania. In Bulgaria “green activities/ actions of the employees in the company” were pointed out (by 41% of interviewees) as also important when a business is defined as a green one. Other opinions were not specified. GreenB, 2015-1-FR01-KA204-015377


How do you finance "the green" business activities? 19 8 3 6

33

36 58

52

8

56

15

64

2 6 2 2 30

France

with own capital

Slovenia

national funding schemes

Italy

from bank loans

alternative sources

19 11 18 Lithuania

19

33

Bulgaria

programs funded by the EU combination of the above

The data summarized in the chart shows differences in using green business activities sources of funding in the countries involved in the project. In France and Italy all sources of funding were pointed out but with different proportion, while in Bulgaria and Lithuania – 4 but different ones and different ratio, Slovenia – 2 sources, one of which combination of all possibilities.

Most of the interviewed in Slovenia and France declared they invest own capital in green activities, followed by combination of different sources of funding. On the contrary the combination of different sources is mostly used in Italy and Lithuania (according to 58 and 52% of opinions respectively). Next for Italy is own capital, while in Lithuania with almost equal shares – alternative sources (19%) and own capital (18%).

In Bulgaria the majority of opinions is equally distributed between own capital and combination of different sources.

Interviewees from Bulgaria, France and Italy shared they use bank loans but their share is different in the separate countries. National funding schemes were pointed out by relatively low shares of interviewed only in France and Italy.

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Which are the "green" activities that you have implemented or prepare for implementation? 10

4

12 27 24 7 20 France

52

26 2 5 11

Slovenia

2

3

15

21

15

12 15

22

19 45

alternative energy sources and energy efficiency

technology

service

other

systems for environmental management

16 24 21

31 Italy

3 10

Lithuania

26 Bulgaria

product/s

The answers to this question seemed to be rather disperse, especially for France and Bulgaria. In Slovenia above half of interviewed (52%) declared that the green activities they are implementing/ preparing to implement are in the “service” sector and “products” come next with twice lower share. In Lithuania, Italy and Bulgaria the “alternative energy sources and energy efficiency” has the highest share (45%, 31% and 26% respectively), followed in Lithuania and Bulgaria by “technology” and by “service” - in Italy. In France the majority of respondents is distributed among “products”, “systems for environmental management” and “alternative energy sources and energy efficiency” with not substantially different shares – 27, 24, 20% respectively. With respect to causes for greening the business of their organization most of the interviewees in all countries, except France, point out combination of business strategies/goals/objectives and solely related to the preserving of the environment reasons and the other options are supported by substantially lower shares of interviewees (data is presented in the graph below). In France the majority of interviewed is distributed among the prevailing in the other countries opinion (with 43% and “solely related to the preserving of the environment reasons” – 35%).

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What are the causes for the "greening" of your organization? 3 43

63

61

18

22

19

19

17

France

Slovenia

Italy

35

other solely related to the preserving of the environment

11

13

67

64

15

23

Lithuania

Bulgaria

7

combination of both business strategies/goals/objectives

Important information is provided by the summarized in the graph below results about involvement of employees in company’s green initiatives.

Are employees involved in the "green" initiatives of your company? 3

5

12

32 8

97

64

55 24 France

Slovenia

Italy

5 5

11 15

43

30

44

47

Lithuania

Bulgaria

employees can not participate in the the "green" initiatives for some reason no one is mandatory engaged

not all, but only those who are directly involved in a particular "green" initiative yes, all employees of the company

As is obvious, almost all interviewed in Slovenia (97%) and above half of those in France (55%) give definitely positive answer. Most of respondents in Italy (64%) declare engagement of employees who GreenB, 2015-1-FR01-KA204-015377


are directly involved in a particular "green" initiative. In Bulgaria and Lithuania the majority of interviewees is distributed among involvement of all employees (47 and 44% respectively) and only of those directly engaged in a green actions (43 and 30%).

What do you think is most important and should be included in a potential training in management of "green" business?

41 8

32 14 8

30

16

8

30

France

Slovenia

13

two or more of the answers

12 26 17 36 9

Italy

78

82

4 11 7

4,5 4,5 4,5 4,5

Lithuania

Bulgaria

ways of "greening" the business and its sustainable management the potential benefits of "greening" your business skills for effective environmental management personal qualification

The predominant part of Lithuanians and Bulgarians interviewed pointed out that they cannot really pick a single most important field of training for green business management and that they would like to see most or all of the listed areas in a potential training. This answer attracts the highest shares of interviewees in France and Slovenia (41 and 32%), followed by the potential benefits of "greening" the business in the first country (30%) and personal qualification (30%) – in the second one.

Italian interviewees declare different needs – the majority of them is distributed among “skills for effective environmental management” (36%) and “ways of "greening" the business and its sustainable management” (26%). The results related to expectations from greening their business reflect the attitude of interviewees to implementation of activities in this respect (data is summarized in the chart below).

In all countries the main expectation is that greening the business will contribute to development of ethics and responsibility in doing business, most strongly represented in Italy and Slovenia (shared by the majority of interviewees), followed by France, Bulgaria and Lithuania. Next comes “to share with others common objectives/tasks of your company” in Lithuania, Italy and France, while in Bulgaria and Slovenia second is – “to achieve economic benefits”. GreenB, 2015-1-FR01-KA204-015377


What do you expect from "greening" your business?

57

68

27 16

8

24

France

Slovenia

70

28

2 Italy

44

45 11

Lithuania

to develop ethics and responsibility in doing business

45 14 41 Bulgaria

to share with others common objectives/tasks of your company to achieve economic benefits

Summary of the additional information collected during the interviews

France, Lithuania and Bulgaria have presented some remarks from the interviews in their national reports. French interviewers received a suggestion by the interviewees for the increment of government grant – to be provided for training of managers and employees in different aspects of greening the business.

Lithuanian respondents, on the other hand, identified as challenges/difficulties for the enterprises to make their business more “green” country economy situation, financial difficulties and lack of political support; qualification of employees; difficulties to increase the use of recycled products and promote the recycling within the company; ability to combine profit and green ideas etc.

Some of the Bulgarian participants mention that the challenges for participating companies are most closely associated with the daily work in the office and underdeveloped infrastructure for implementing such activities. Also they outline the need for changing the mind-set to a more "green" way of thinking. The variety of additional feedback shows the broad interest on the topic by the respondents and the business in the partner countries as a whole. There are different challenges that the countries are facing but with them pointed out and understood, it will become easier for them to find working solutions. Conclusion with respect to expectations from potential training for managing a “green” business

Again, as in the questionnaire, similarities and differences between countries were registered during interviews. Similarly, all defined areas were pointed out as needed but at different extent by respondents in the different countries. GreenB, 2015-1-FR01-KA204-015377


5. Results from the focus groups This section aims to summarise the results from the focus group discussions. Number of participants

France, Slovenia and Italy had a discussion with 6 experts, while Lithuania and Bulgaria had theirs with 10 and 11 respectively. Profile of participants – organisations, positions, expertise.

There was wide variety of experts involved in the different partner countries.

In France all participants were involved in the private sector, predominantly managers (5 managers, 1 employee). The Italian focus group participants were 4 engineers and 1 professor.

Slovenian focus group consisted of 2 experts working in training institutions, 2 small business owners, one manager and one employee, all from different organisations. The Lithuanian focus group members were primarily academicians and senior managers or directors, half of which are employed in state jobs and in Lithuania. In Bulgaria focus group participants were from private companies and NGOs– the bigger part of the of them were high managerial stuff or owners of the organisations.

This diversity certainly helped the research as the representatives of the different countries focus groups had different perspective of “greening” the business but all were relevant as they are occupied in fields closely related to the subject matter. Discussed topics

In all countries, in compliance with the focus group discussion objective, the main topics included: • Project aims and objectives • Questionnaire results • Interview results • Training needs assessment • Discussion about challenges and difficulties that SMEs face to make their business more “green” • Trainings goals and aims • Further project activities Summary of discussions and recommendations

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Based on the discussion about challenges and difficulties SMEs face in greening business, as well as about the research results the following conclusions related to planned future training in this area could be drawn:  Considering the fact that lots of managers, especially in SMEs are not aware of benefits from greening their business it is important to provide systematized information to them about middle and long term return on investment as well as about existing financial aids for implementing green business initiatives. In this respect the importance of changing mentality and attitudes towards green business and the need of pointing out the identifying the different ways of greening the business to SMEs management and staff was stressed. Bulgarian participants identified the following major benefits of greening the business were identified – cost savings, energy consumption reduction, emission reduction, waste reduction, employee motivation, customer loyalty, compliance with the legal requirements. So, the business needs tools and techniques to assist the greening process through developing practical step-by-step action plan. It was stressed that advantages of the voluntary approaches concerning environmental protection policies and especially environmental management systems according to international standards ISO 14001 and EMAS should be explained and promoted among managers.  French experts underlined the importance of main objectives of the training, which according to their opinion should be: improve skills and knowledge about the ways of greening the business, set out indicators to evaluate SMEs efficiency by greening their business, and integrate simple and daily practices for greening the business and protect environment.  Focus group participants in all countries provided positive feedback on the research results and shared more general and particular recommendations about the training content that it should include:  The main sectors of green economy: renewable energy, green buildings, sustainable transport, water management, waste management, land management (most explicitly underlined in Lithuania).  Eco-innovations, environmental protection and energy management (identified as most important areas of knowledge in Italy).  Legislative and financial issues related to green business, eco-standards, eco-labelling (defined in Slovenia). Participants in Italy suggested to include national regulations of the participating countries which will provide basis for comparison between different European realities for an exchange of good practices in the environmental protection and energy management fields.  In all countries the necessity the training to be practically oriented was pointed out. Participants from Lithuania stressed that it should take into consideration each individual learner’s situation and needs. Conclusions  

Considering the profile of participants, fruitfulness and the results of discussions in all countries, the general conclusion is that the preliminary objectives were achieved. Focus groups discussions confirmed in general the results obtained from administering questionnaires and conducting interviews. At the same time they provided additional points of

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 

view to the training contents and methodology that should be taken into consideration by partners in the training design, as a whole. Special attention in the training should be paid to supporting development adequate, informed and augmented attitude to greening the business among entrepreneurs and managers as a main prerequisite for activeness in this area. None of the countries shared any difficulties in organizing and provision of focus group discussions.

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6. Best practices identified During the work on training needs assessment each participating country identified and described 2 green business best practices. The companies selected are active in different economic sectors and branches: Agriculture - an organic aromatic herb farm (France);

Production based on recycling: - a company designing and producing fashion accessories, toys and decorative objects by recycling unconventional raw materials collected from the streets of India (France); - a manufacturer of newspaper paper, and graphical wrapper-packaging papers using recycled fibres that are obtained from the processing of waste paper de-inking plant (Slovenia). Use of renewable sources - a company for development of materials from renewable resources , especially use of renewable resources for the production of bioplastics for eco-applications (Italy).

Public sector - a public company which core activities cover the scope of the following local utilities: drinking water supply, collection and treatment of waste water, waste management, gas supply, maintenance of cemeteries and cemetery activity maintenance of public areas and maintenance of public lighting (Slovenia). Transition from linear to circular economy – a company, world leader in innovative and sustainable solutions for flooring and sports surfaces that practices sustainability through closed-loop circular design model which is the way of best applying the Cradle to Cradle® principles to support the development of the circular economy (Italy).

Construction (Lithuania) – a company which first built an energy efficiency residential building in Lithuania and initiated development of Lithuanian Green Building Council, which is engaged in public education of sustainable buildings and environmental issues. - a company providing services in sustainable development and environmental protection solutions for businesses, especially in construction and territorial planning. Voluntary approaches of European regulation in the field of environmental protection (Bulgaria) - a company which produces tissue paper with EU Ecolabel; - a leading metal recycling company in the country is certificated according to Regulation 2009/1221/EC (EMAS). The above summary evidences that the “greening” of business could be incorporated in different areas of the social and economic life. Some of these companies are regionally important enterprises which proofs that the trend for “greening” is growing and the companies are taking more and more interest in the topic.

The partners described the best practices according to a common template and the information systematized there will be utilized in the process of future training contents development. GreenB, 2015-1-FR01-KA204-015377


7. Overall conclusions about the training needs of SMEs in managing a green business  Based on the results obtained from the research carried out by the partnership the planned training in green business management for managers and employees in SMEs is necessary and it could be expected that representatives of the target groups will be interested in participation. Only in Slovenia might be difficulties in recruiting trainees.  Similarities and differences between countries were registered with respect to training needs.  Considering summarized results from the questionnaires, interviews, focus groups and identified best practices the following areas of knowledge, main topics and skills should be included in the training content taking into account also the identified country specifics in their combination:  Eco innovations;  Environment protection;  Corporate social responsibility;  Energy management;  Greening the business – approaches and tools;  Business sustainable development in the globalised world;  Project management;  Change management in green business;  Communication;  Self-efficacy;  Pro-activeness;  Creativity;  Persistence;  Leadership;  Risk taking;  Skills for effective environmental management;  Ways of "greening" the business and its sustainable management;  Potential benefits from greening the business;  The main sectors of green economy: renewable energy, green buildings, sustainable transport, water management, waste management, land management;  Legislative and financial issues related to green business at national level.  In all countries the necessity the training to be practically oriented was pointed out. Participants from Lithuania stressed that it should take into consideration each individual learner’s situation and needs.  Special attention in the training should be paid to supporting development adequate, informed and augmented attitude to greening the business among entrepreneurs and managers as a main prerequisite for activeness in this area.

Consequently the training content has to include all areas of knowledge and skills defined. In order to take into account the country specifics, the partnership has to discuss the opportunity curricula to be developed as a common for all partners basic version with obligatory and optional content of the

GreenB, 2015-1-FR01-KA204-015377


separate modules. This way every country could tailor the contents to its specifics, as identified by the results analysed.

GreenB, 2015-1-FR01-KA204-015377

Summary report on training needs assessment GreenB  

The objective of this report is to summarize the findings and results of the research on the training needs assessment of managers and emplo...

Summary report on training needs assessment GreenB  

The objective of this report is to summarize the findings and results of the research on the training needs assessment of managers and emplo...

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