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Cosmic Project
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The Project analyzes the relationship existing between Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and competitiveness all along the textile/clothing supply chain, through:
  • a detailed study concerning the role played by demand factors (market and consumers), supply ones (innovation and dynamic efficiency, role of credit and insurance systems) and public policies on CSR-related tools adoption by textile/clothing SMEs
  • identification of the main voluntary CSR instruments that can influence the industry economic and competitive performance, as well as market dynamics
  • diffusion of the results among SMEs and in the industrial clusters, test in field and policy proposals

In recent years, there are the conditions for the effects of innovative environmental and social policies to trespass the borders of internal efficiency, deriving from the optimisation of production costs and resource savings, as they can regard also competitive dynamics on relevant markets. Hence, particular attention has been paid to voluntary instruments of environmental and social policy, capable of providing companies with a competitive advantage with customers and stakeholders. Favourable conditions for the development of an "environmental and social competitiveness of firms" are, also, the trends of the so-called "ecological consumption" and "ethic consumption", the focus media have on these issues, the guarantees asked by the distribution, and so on. The firm can adopt different strategies in response to such new sensitiveness among stakeholders. These strategies can be merely reactive (simplpy responding to explicit requests), anticipative (anticipating possible contestations) or proactive (looking for consensus through the valorisation of the efforts sustained). In some industrial sectors, the increasing institutional pressure, the issue of social acceptance as regards polluting and ethical production and the sensibility of consumers made environmental and social performance a strong discriminating issue in competitive dynamics. All these phenomena are nowadays spreading even to sectors and markets once less sensible to these aspects (such as the agroindustrial sector, or the paper industry, or the recent experiences in the field of IT). An increasing number of companies is looking for opportunities in the field of environmental and social improvement, communicating with their own stakeholders, stimulating the market and interacting with institutions and control boards. Many of these opportunities are pursued through instruments provided by innovative environmental and social policies; the search for competitive margins pushed many firms towards voluntary tools of environmental, social and safety certification, as guarantee for local communities, and a chance for improving market relations. We consider the textile/clothing sector one potential industry where stimulating these approaches, through barriers removal.
 
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