Knowledge Transfer Tools for Enhancing Sustainability

András Sebők, Fruzsina Homolka, Adrienn Hegyi


The majority of SMEs needs repeated explanations and evidences to be convinced about the feasibility of adopting measures for improving sustainability. This is a particularly challenging task since meeting the requirements of business growth, reduction of environmental impact, social responsibility and good governance at the same time requires complex thinking and ability to find trade-offs. Human and financial resources of SMEs are usually limited. It is difficult to motivate them to change their practices until they can’t see that these changes improve or at least maintain the viability of their business and will bring them clear benefits and relatively quick return of their invested efforts and resources. Although everybody agrees that the reduction of the environmental impact and increasing the social responsibility of food and agriculture businesses is unavoidable and beneficial for the society in general, SMEs are not convinced that their additional costs and efforts will be acknowledged by the customers and consumers. If during the explanation of the sustainability requirements the main emphasis is put on the environmental aspects this message may not be satisfactory effective to persuade food SMEs to take actions, particularly in the less affluent countries. Similar typical causes of the reluctance to act on improving compliance to environmental and social requirements were found in the Latin- American countries and in Hungary, which include the following arguments and concerns:
• The smaller is a business, the smaller is its contribution to the total environmental impact.
• Many other businesses including larger ones than us can continue to make business without making major changes in their activities. Why should we make the first step? Is it a real consumer requirement?
• Who will cover the additional costs of the changes, sustainability measures?
• Our limited resources have to be focused on production. We do not have time to spend on measurements and calculations. Why shall we share our data with our competitors, why shall we give them information, what they can use for competing with us?

Full Text:



ISSN 2194-511X


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License