Developing resources to assist responsible business practice
The Australian Research Institute in Education for Sustainability (ARIES) was commissioned to conduct a nationwide research program to solicit feedback from Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and their stakeholders on a draft set of resources being developed for SMEs by the St James Ethics Centre and other industry partners.
This set of resources is designed to enable SMEs to easily create profiles of their responsible business activities. The research program conducted by ARIES was key to making the resources meaningful, practical and easy for SMEs to use and adopt, regardless of level of experience with responsible business practice. In addition to conducting the research program, ARIES played and continues to play a consultative role with the St James Ethics centre in the continued strategic development of these SME resources as they are prepared to be rolled out nationwide.
The Federal Government, through Treasury, is funding St James Ethics Centre over a period of three years to expand responsible business practice in Australia. The Centre’s initiatives are based on developing the common good and requiring all relevant stakeholders to work together to take this agenda forward as part of a coordinated partnership.
This stage of the project took a practical focus as it drilled down into current initiatives, gaps and the development of tools, including:
- Sector/Product Road Mapping
- Place-Based Networks/Communities
- Resource Development – sustainable enterprises, supply chains and communicating on responsible business practices
- SME Service Providers, Trusted Professionals, Influence Networks.
These segments were showcased at the 10th National Business Leaders Forum on Sustainable Development, Parliament House, Canberra on 28 and 29 May 2009 (www.nblf.com.au/).
For more information about the St James Ethics Centre, go to www.ethics.org.au