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A framework about the firms

The questionnaires totally collected are 274 total: 150 from Italy, 63 from France and 61 from Spain (these proportions respect the level of diffusion of textile/clothing and leather enterprises in the three countries). The prevalent sector is “clothing” with 137 companies, followed by “textile” and “tanning” with 77 firms each.

The firms have got a mean of 41 employees each, with a minimum of 0 and a maximum of 650.

41,1% of the suppliers are located in the same nation as the interviewed firm.

The main reference client results to be “other companies of the textile and clothing”, with a 42,5%.

Geographically speaking, the final market is mainly national and other European Countries.


The Corporate Social Responsibility on the firms

From our sample 127 (46%) firms have at least one certification, 107 of which have more than one. A total of 147(54%)  firms do not  have any kind of certification.  Most firms’ certificates from the clothing sector are in France and Spain. Italy holds most of the certificates for tanning and textile sector respectively.

With a percentage of 82,1% the quality of raw materials/products/services is the preferred characteristic considered when choosing suppliers, followed by price with 63,9% of the responses. The possession of an ethical or environmental certification is preferred to a quality certification (22,5% and 13,9% respectively). There is a low percentage of answers regarding the environmental compatibility.



A large number of enterprises consider social and environmental issues important for maintaining good performances in periods of crisis, also if this relationship is not directly perceived. Low in the three countries is the number of subjects considering this relation clear (only 12%), with a higher percentage of France. At sectorial level, it’s interesting to notice that a large part of enterprises considering rather important these tools for facing the crisis, belongs to the clothing sector.



In the investigated sectors, innovation performance is the most competitive measure related to CSR initiatives. In particular, specific environmental practices, much more adequate for SMEs than complex management system such as formal EMS.

The adoption of codes of conduct as well as ethic product label, the participation to international CSR initiative could stimulate organizational innovative changing.

The adoption of CSR initiatives, not focused on employees such as the definition of benefits for employees (e.g. flexibility of individual working hours, requests for part time contracts, etc.) is not only not correlated with personnel motivation and productivity, but, in some cases, it is negatively and significantly correlated to them.

There are strong positive correlation between business attraction, that is the level of appeal in the business for new members and partners (entry of new members, attainment offer, proposals for mergers, etc), and some CSR practices such as ethic labels, codes of conducts, international initiatives, environmental audits, green supply chain practices.

In many cases there is a positive correlation between CSR initiatives and relation with stakeholders. This confirms what clearly emerges in the literature: CSR usually requires dialogue and cooperation with stakeholders.

The analysis of the level of dependency between the CSR practices, on one side, and the competitive performance, on the other, has confirmed the existence of some kind of relations among the two variables, that need to be investigated more in depth.

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