New study “Sustainability Management in Austrian SMEs” published

October 30, 2020

The practical study was carried out within the framework of the endowed professorship for Microeconomics of Competitiveness at the Institute for Business Ethics and Sustainable Strategy (IBES) of FHWien der WKW. The results of the project „City of Vienna Competence team for sustainable, strategic and opportunity-oriented management of SMEs“ funded by the City of Vienna were used in the preparation of the study.

Due to the situation-related event regulations, the presentation of the study results takes place online. Under different circumstances we would have presented the practical study in the Strategy Morning. We have summarized the most important findings of our studies in a short video presentation. In addition, the companies Alpla, Das Gramm, Haberkorn and Löffler provide insights into the practice in video messages.


A total of 343 companies were quantitatively surveyed. The results show that

  • SMEs expect competitive advantages through sustainability management,
  • concrete measures are usually directed at the needs of the company’s own employees,
  • the vast majority of the responsibility lies with the management,
  • SMEs communicate their activities very cautiously,
  • institutionalized instruments are hardly used and
  • Cooperation with external stakeholders is rarely entered into.

Long-term entrepreneurial opportunities through strategic sustainability management are still insufficiently exploited by Austrian SMEs. In the practical studies recommendations for action are shown, which support SMEs in the development of a strategic implementation program.

Further information on this topic can be found in the anthology „Responsible Corporate Governance in Austrian Medium-Sized Enterprises“, published by IBES, which analyses numerous best practice examples of responsible corporate governance from SMEs.