Italian SMEs pursue their training with a session in Rome

13 SMEs attended the TOURISME training in Rome on 22 and 23 March 2022. The sessions held by Sistemi Formativi Confindustria, 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.

SFC CEO Paola Previdi opened the session by introducing the SMEs to the TOURISME project. The subsequent presentation by each company of its sustainability goals helped in mapping the main change area the companies favour. Many TOURISME beneficiary companies are interested in infrastructural improvements, but also emerged the need to know how to enable sustainability as a  structural competitiveness factor and not just a trend.

The objective of this first training 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, researcher of Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna di Pisa University. The session started with the presentation of the political context from the 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 with an overview of sustainable tourism in Italy.

The second session 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 the 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 the 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 with the analysis of practical local cases.