The Pilot Projects are designed for businesses who wish to work together with researchers to integrate sustainability into their business.
The SMART Project is concluded but the work continues under the auspices of the Research Group Companies, Markets and Sustainability, which hosted SMART. The industry engagement, including work to set up pilot projects, is followed up through the Business Forum.
The concept of the Pilot Projects draws on the emerging regulatory framework for corporate sustainability and our research-based concept of sustainability, defined as securing the social foundation for humanity within planetary boundaries. Applied to business, we define corporate sustainability as an overarching goal of creating sustainable value within planetary boundaries.
In the Pilot Projects, we will work together with businesses to commit to this overarching goal, and implement this throughout the business, with any necessary adjustments to business models, strategies and risk management systems. We will work together to implement sustainability due diligence throughout the business, including global value chains where applicable. This will enable the business to understand and mitigate the financial risks of unsustainability and position itself to reap the benefits of transitioning to sustainability. Sustainability reporting that is more meaningful will be amongst the results, attracting sustainability-oriented investors, customers, and public procurement contracts.
Pilot projects will require high level of commitment and engagement from the pilot businesses. Pilot projects can be undertaken in a company (or other legal form, such as a cooperative), a corporate group or in one business area of a company or, e.g. a cooperative. Member businesses will be required to contribute funding for research personnel who will work closely with the person responsible of implementation in the business for an agreed period.