13 SMEs attended a training in Rome on 22 and 23 March 2022. The sessions aimed at introducing the participants to the key principles of sustainable development and circular economy, and enhancing their understanding of environmental standards, certifications and labels.
The objective of this first session was to fill gaps in knowledge and awareness of sustainable tourism management systems. It described the fundamental concepts and the legal framework of sustainable tourism. It deepened the link between the experiences and needs of the individual TOURISME beneficiary enterprises and the concepts and systems of sustainable entrepreneurial management. The presentation was held by Niccolo Maria Todaro, from the Institute of Management of the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna di Pisa University. He started with an explanation of the political context from 1987 Brundtland Report to the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015, and highlighted how these principles informed the development of strategies. The rest of the session aimed at introducing SMEs to circular tourism and environmental management, and presenting the opportunities where sustainable tourism provides a competitive advantage. The session closed on an overview on sustainable tourism in Italy.
The second session, which was also animated by M. Todaro, aimed at strengthening knowledge of the principles for environmental certification, redefining the wide range of labels and quality criteria in relation to business needs and opportunities, and setting up an orientation of SMEs towards CSR strategies and sustainable business management. During the first part of this training session, mechanisms and dynamics of standardisation and certification, as well as motives and objectives leading organizations to adopt similar tools have been presented, before focusing on the most widely adopted environmental standards and certifications, applied to tourism sector. The emphasis was put on the environmental management system (EMS) – ISO 14001 norm, as well as the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for energy efficiency in buildings. The session closed on the analysis of practical local cases.