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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.


Growing Pathways for Ethics on Leadership, Business and Life

Welcome to the “Growing on Ethics” project website.

Here you can find useful information on the aims and objectives of the project, on its implementation, its main outcomes, its connection with the EC’s general objectives and more specifically with the Lifelong Learning Programme Leonardo da Vinci’s priorities and most important information on the necessity of the project in the current economic environment.

“Growing Pathways for Ethics on Leadership, Business and Life – Growing on Ethics” {Project No. 2013-1-GR1-LEO05-14130} is a 24 month initiative co-funded by the European Commission, under the Directorate-General for Education and Culture and more specifically under the State Scholarships Foundation as the responsible authority for the facilitation of Lifelong Learning Programme Leonardo Da Vinci in Greece.



State of art on Business Ethics & CSR

Growing on Ethics toolkit

ECVET Training Descriptor

Final Conference

Transfer workshop

Press Releases


Growing on Ethics rollup banners


Actions achieved so far

In order to enable the transfer of already developed expertise and methodology from Portugal to other countries participating in the program "Growing on Ethics", it was considered appropriate to precede the complete mapping of the application level of CSR practices and Business Ethics in every business sector.
Therefore, the project partners in each participating country were invited to develop a national report, which presents both the relevant existing situation of the business world in each country (policies implemented, concerns, barriers, good practice etc.) and also the relative integration of these issues in the field of education (courses and degree programs offered concerning CSR and Business Ethics). This recording is particularly important as highlights the strengths of each country, as well as the existing gaps which the tool under development will be able to cover by the completion of “Growing on Ethics” project.
In order to map the current situation, the partners carried out a thorough primary and secondary research, which consisted of two phases: the parallel completion of a questionnaire by representative organizations (businesses, NGO’s, public institutions, providers of education and training) and a desk research. The first phase, which began in April 2014 by sending the questionnaires, has been completed and the conclusions drawn are of particular interest. Furthermore, since May 2014, there has been launched the second phase, which involves the collection of secondary data that allow logging the level of which issues of CSR and Business Ethics are included in education and more specifically, in the curricula of offered courses at all levels .
Drafting of the national reports, of which there will be exported particularly useful conclusions, is expected to be completed soon, to be followed by their composition in an overall report that will include useful information for the purposes of the program at European level.


The project is implemented in 4 European countries (Cyprus, Greece, Portugal, Switzerland), by 6 partners:

CSR Hellas (Hellenic Network for Corporate Social Responsibility) – [GR] - (Coordinator)

CSR Hellas (Hellenic Network for Corporate Social Responsibility)
Address: 61 Akademias str, 106 79, Athens, Greece
T (+30) 210 33 87 422 - 3
F (+30) 210 33 87 424
Linkedin: companies/csr-hellas
Facebook: Hellenic Network for CSR
Skype: hncsr

CSR Hellas (Hellenic Network for Corporate Social Responsibility), is the leading organisation on CSR in Greece. It is a non-profit organisation run by a 7-member board and currently its membership includes 120 businesses and 7 business associations. For the promotion of its objectives it works and collaborates directly with large enterprises and SMEs, organizes conferences and specialized training and thematic workshops, collaborates with the academic community, is active interlocutor with NGOs and public sector organizations and participates actively in the dialogue on CSR at a local and European level.
Lately, CSR Hellas participates actively in the dialogue for the development of the National CSR Strategy, collaborating closely with the Greek Ministries of Development, Environment and Labor.
Since its establishment in 2000, CSR Hellas is National Partner of CSR Europe, the leading European business network for CSR, with approximately 70 corporations and 37 national partners, registered in 29 countries, as its members. Its partnership with CSR Europe, allows CSR Hellas to be in the forefront of any developments on CSR at European and local level. Recent collaborations with CSR Europe include the implementation of the “European CSR Awards”, the co-organization of events on “Business and Human Rights” or on the acquisition of “Skills for Jobs” program, the promotion of the “Responsible Supply Chain Management”.
Furthermore, since May 2008, CSR Hellas is the coordinator of the activities of UN Global Compact Network Hellas (GCNH) run by a 5-member secretariat and currently (January 2014) its membership includes 53 businesses and 25 non-business organizations.
The main objectives of the GCNH are the promotion of United Nations Global Compact and its 10 principles in Greece and the support of businesses, academics and other organizations that are committed to them. Additionally, GCNH supports the wider dissemination of the United Nations millennium goals through activities and events related to all stakeholders, creating opportunities for multistakeholder alliances and collective activities.

KNOWL – Social Enterprise for Risk Groups Education and Lifelong Learning – [GR]

Dimitris Raftopoulos
Acharnon 335, 11145 Athens, Greece
T +30 210 8312868

What is knowl?
Knowl is a social enterprise aiming to expand the knowledge capital and make the 'knowledge society' more inclusive.
Why knowl is innovative?
Because it brings together the academic, entrepreneurial and research communities at an interdisciplinary level and develops integrated pedagogical models encompassing a wide socioeconomic spectrum.
What we do at knowl?
We provide education and training in a wide range of topics, by exploiting the expertise of educators, academics, instructors, consultants and diverse social actors from various fields like lifelong learning, entrepreneurship and business, creative and cultural industries etc.
How we do it?
We design training material and implement face-to-face workshops and webinars with a special focus on the needs of social groups at risk, as well as companies, organisations and individuals. As a social enterprise, knowl is taking account of the different socio-economic factors of our target groups such as financial resources, educational and cultural background, providing flexible enrolment patterns, and producing socially redeeming value for all.

Intercollege – [CY]

Dr. Alexandros Antonaras, MCQI CQP, PMP
Director, Consultancy Unit
Assistant Professor, Management & MIS
46 Makedonitissas Avenue 1700, Nicosia Cyprus
T+357 22 795021
F+357 22 772616

Intercollege is one of the leading colleges in Cyprus, which has been offering a wide range of vocational and academic programs to students since its inception in 1989. Intercollege offers programs in Culinary Arts, Aesthetics and Beauty Therapy, Computer Technology, Information Technology, Electrical and Mechanical Technology etc. leading to a Diploma (vocational programs) or a Bachelor's degree, as well as a number of professional training programs. In the last few years Intercollege has also developed an extensive network of European partners through its leadership and involvement in innovative European projects. The college’s academic and administrative staff has extensive experience in project management, research, as well as in developing and implementing educational/training programs through European funded programmes. Public opinion has recognized the comprehensive contribution Intercollege is making. Indeed, a national survey has found Intercollege to be "the most reputable College in Cyprus". All the above contribute to Intercollege’s vision for the future, and are encapsulated in the College’s motto "Excellence in Education”.

ISQ – Institute for Quality and Technology – [PT]

Christina Almeida
Project Manager - R&D and Innovation
T+351 21 423 4073
F+351 21 422 81 28

ISQ is the biggest technological and quality institution in Portugal, founded in 1965 and currently runs operations in more than 30 countries across the world. ISQ’s training department and R&D+i unit promotes international projects and is a national player in several fields of LLL, including APL, ECVET, EQAVET, professional certifications.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Entrepreneurship are key areas at ISQ, focus of many recent studies and projects, being presently the coordinator of largest national network of Corporate Social Responsibility (with more than 250 member-organisations). Social Entrepreneurship is one of the largest thematic groups within this National CSR Network.

ACEGE – Christian Association of Businessmen and Managers – [PT]

Sofia Santos Economist, PhD.
T + 351 217 941 323
Skype: sofia.santos2050

ACEGE`s Vision
ACEGE is a businessmen and businesswomen`s association, that shares amongst each other Cristian values and continuously seeks to apply those values in their professional life.
ACEGE proposes, as a personal mission, to stir and mobilize the individual’s conscience, divulging the values shared amongst their members and the social doctrine of the Church expressed by them.
We want to be seen as a moral reference in Portuguese society, contributing to strengthen the civil society through an enlightened and straightforward attitude, helping to disseminate a culture of responsibility.
ACEGE`s Fundamental Tenets
We believe Man to be created by God, with unique and unrepeatable characteristics, with the will to create and work towards a fairer and more humane world.
The Company
We see the company as a humane community, founded upon non-coincidental interests, guided towards common goals, structured accordingly to the principle of cooperation and not of conflict, oriented to production and/or marketing of goods and services within a competitive and uncertain global market, and thus subject to rational management principles, organizational management principles and market fixation. We acknowledge within the company an invaluable social asset, originated by the initiative, risk taking ability and the individual’s skills, it does however only make sense when pursuing its social purposes, namely when producing wealth, creating job opportunities, achieving self-fulfillment and the overall social development.
The Social Market Economy
We acknowledge the market economy`s potential, when it acknowledges the fundamental and positive role of the company, private property`s and free human creativity, as an economic, social and environmental development element.
Excellency at Work
We view work as an essential factor for the individual`s fulfillment and the socio-economic progress of the world. Any job, performed competently, honestly and in a committed fashion is the source of the individual`s affirmation and dignity, as well as simultaneously, a mean to collaborate with God on His continuous work – the creation of the world. We seek the every day’s work Excellency and the entrepreneurial action as an ethical imperative given the fact that only this way can we be up to the enormous responsibility bestowed upon our lives and other people`s life project.
The Common Good
With everything we do we want to contribute to the fostering of the common good and the specific conditions – material, intellectual, moral and institutional- that allow for a complete fulfillment of every single man and mankind.

SEC Genève – Société des Employés de Commerce - Section de Genève – [CH]

Norbert GENOUD
Secrétaire Général - Section de Genève
Société des employés de commerce
2bis rue St-Léger - 1205 Genève
T+41 22 310 35 22
F+41 22 310 35 23
Organisational profile
The Swiss Association of Commercial Employees (SEC Switzerland) is the largest professional organization for office workers, sellers and related occupations. It defends the interests of approximately 55, 000 members in 45 sections.
Training and professional development are the main concerns of the Swiss Association of Commercial Employees. The SEC Switzerland is the parent body of various professional examinations and professional managers. Several sections of the SEC Switzerland run schools and training institutes.
The SEC is committed to defend the Swiss Collective labour agreements (CCT) and equality between men and women.


European Conference on Responsible Entrepreneurship & Corporate Social Responsibility

The European Conference on Responsible Entrepreneurship & Corporate Social Responsibility is around the corner!

Stay tuned and follow us to get more information of the renowned speakers, conference agenda and workshops of the conference that will be organized by the partners of the consortium, on September 23rd in Athens, Greece. Attendance to the conference will be free and you are all welcome to join us, upon confirmation of your registration.

Why attend?
✔  Increase the attractiveness of responsible entrepreneurship
✔  Discuss the role of Ethics and CSR in tackling the negative effect of crisis with an emphasis on youth unemployment, late payments, lack of balance between professional and personal life
✔  Explore approaches and solutions to encourage jobs creation, leadership, prompt payments, work-life balance and transparency
✔  Assess trends and causes for leadership skills mismatch and its impact on the labour market
✔  Share best practices in the field of innovative and responsible integrated approaches’ implementation in the Greek business environment

National Pilot training on CSR and Responsible Leadership

Following a period of thorough research on CSR state of art in Greece, Cyprus, Portugal and Switzerland, adaptation of training material to the needs of each country and intense preparations, the Pilot workshops of the project were successfully delivered to all four countries participating in the “Growing on Ethics” project.

52 SME executives and professionals from Greece, Cyprus, Portugal and Switzerland were trained in responsible entrepreneurship, in subjects such as Responsible Leadership and Reinforcing Ethical Conduct, and issues related to specific operational policies that affect business’ function, such as Work – Life Balance and Timely Payments.

We are proud to say, that all participants expressed great interest on the topic of CSR and a yearning to implement such activities in the companies they represent, while they left with new ideas, inspirations and motives.

But don’t take it from us, here are some statements from the participants themselves:

“It gave me the opportunity to better understand the challenges of small enterprises”
“In-company seminars, please!”
“More than a course. Lively and rewarding.”
“Case study, discussions, topics were great!”

Watch also the short video we prepared and some photos of the workshops.

Press Release: CSR Hellas co-signs European Business Manifesto “Enterprise 2020”

Article: Business Ethics and Sustainable Excellence

With citizens nowadays demanding responsible business behaviour, corporations and their leaders have become aware of the crucial role of trust, quality and integrity in seeking performance excellence, profit and sustainable growth. According to Aristotle, leadership, and as a result business behaviour, pre-assumes the existence of three elements, Ethos, Logos (logic) and Passion for Ethics. Therefore, to bridge the gap, a Business Ethics Model has been developed by EBEN GR in 2007 aiming to align the continuous upgrading of quality and excellence in a business environment with ethical governance and corporate social responsibility. This article analyses the EBEN GR Business Ethics Model and investigates the effect of adopting it in an effort to reach sustainable excellence through the implementation of the EFQM Excellence Model.

Read the full article

Article: “Growing on Ethics”: From Portugal to Greece and even further

Following the European CSR Strategy (2011-2014), CSR HELLAS’ strategic plan for 2012-2015 foresaw -among others- the reinforcement of a more responsible entrepreneurship, through the cooperation of business world and academic society.

Towards this direction, CSR HELLAS continues the successful collaboration with business and educational entities, with which it has signed memoranda of collaboration and has already developed effective common action, with measurable results. In this frame and having conducted the 1st Student Contest for CSR, CSR HELLAS recorded the clear need for mapping the current situation and for respective development of training tools, towards the promotion of CSR principles and the maximization of the effectiveness of their implementation in Greece.

Read the full article

05 Dec 2014 Event: Human rights and fight against corruption

2014 European Business Ethics Forum London: 5 – 7 February 2014

For the 11th year, this 2-day Forum will bring together those who are responsible for the ethics, compliance or business conduct programmes within their organisations. You will share with your peers practical information and experiences relating to current best practices and explore together some of the problems that are raised in doing business ethically.
Read more here...

World Forum for Ethics in Business

World Forum for Ethics in Business calls on private sector to take forward shared value practices Exemplary case studies from multinational organizations and ethical leadership tools were in the spotlight at the 9th International Leadership at the European Parliament on 15 November 2013 that paved the way for a new paradigm for businesses that can be scaled up to global impact.
Read more here...


This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.

This communication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein. The Growing on Ethics Consortium makes every effort to ensure, but cannot guarantee, the accuracy of the information on this website. The Growing on Ethics Consortium cannot be held responsible for the content and/or correct functioning of any pages linked to this website. Reproduction and dissemination of any of the information contained on this website is encouraged, provided that Growing on Ethics project is duly acknowledged as the source of the material.

Copyright © 2014 Growing on Ethics Consortium. All rights reserved.


Some really nice portfolio shots:

Dribbble shots by Matt Kaufenberg.


Aims & objectives

”Growing on Ethics” is addressed to all business leaders and employees, regardless their economic/business sector.

Its main objectives are to equip leaders and employees with the appropriate skills that will allow them to act in a more ethical approach in everyday business and personal activities. This could be achieved through the transfer of an existing methodology that has been developed in Portugal by one of the partners (ACEGE) and will be updated and adjusted according to the different national needs of the consortium countries.

The three core topics of the methodology focus on leadership, just on time payment and work-life balance.

This approach will lead to the development of a joint guideline for the use of a common methodology that will contain specific and useful information, on how it is possible to mainstream vertical models incorporating Ethics and CSR into national policies and training references in each country, with recognition for EQF and ECVET.

Also, the project aims at establishing and reinforcing in each country a network of Ethics and CSR with a strong focus on economic, environmental and social aspects (human resource management, community support, training, etc.), including not only companies but also VET Providers, NGO´s, public authorities and other stakeholders.

Thus all these could be achieved through:
  • development of a toolkit that provides suggestions for leaders and employees to improve their Ethics behavior and their CSR management model,
  • creation of an operational ECVET framework for Ethics and CSR management approach,
  • creation of an Ethics and CSR network in European level.

Relevance towards European Commission’s general objectives

The recent economic crisis as well as other structural factors are all contributing to rapid changes in European labour markets and economy.

The EU, now more than ever before, is trying to move towards a more sustainable and inclusive society until 2020, based on new management models that include ethics, responsibility and transparency.

In October 2011, the European Commission published a new policy on Corporate Social Responsibility defining CSR as “the responsibility of enterprises for their impacts on society”. To fully meet their social responsibility, enterprises “should have in place a process to integrate social, environmental, ethical, human rights and consumer concerns into their business operations and core strategy in close collaboration with their stakeholders”. (EU Strategy 2020, "A renewed EU strategy 2011-14 for Corporate Social Responsibility").

For better aligning European and global approaches to CSR and Ethics, the Commission highlights the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, the 10 principles of the UN Global Compact, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the ILO Tri-partite Declaration of Principles on Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy, the ISO 26000 Guidance on Social Responsibility and the Global Reporting Initiative.

In this context it is crucial for society and markets that ethical behavior evolves in terms of content, and becomes a standard practice by all, instead of an exceptional activity undertaken by some leading companies.

Moreover, corporate ethical behaviour that is based on corporate values is one of the major fundamental principles of the sustainable management model that also embeds:

Accountability: being accountable for our impacts on society, the economy and the environment,

Transparency: disclosing information to Stakeholders with respect to decisions and activities that impact society and the environment, to a reasonable and sufficient degree,

Respect for Stakeholder Interests: respecting, considering and responding stakeholders’ interests to the best of company’s ability,

Respect for the rule of the law: complying with applicable provisions,

Respect for international norms of behaviour: adopting international norms of behaviour as a minimum, even in situations where the national law does not provide adequate environmental or social safeguards,

Respect for human rights: respecting human rights and recognizing both their importance and their universality.

All the above principles contain ethical issues that constitute an organization’s responsibility strategy and can enhance reputation and brand image and securing “social license to operate”.

Relevance towards Lifelong Learning Programme “Leonardo da Vinci” priorities

“Growing on Ethics” is designed in line with the Leonardo Da Vinci general objectives which are the support of participants in training and future training activities, in the acquisition and the use of knowledge, skills and qualifications to facilitate personal development, employability and participation in the European labour market, and to enhance the attractiveness of vocational education and training and mobility for employers and individuals and to facilitate the mobility of trained workers.

More specifically “Growing on Ethics” aims to contribute to the improvement of the quality and to increase the volume of co-operation between institutions/organisations providing learning opportunities, enterprises, social partners and other relevant bodies throughout Europe, but also to facilitate the development of innovative practices in the field of vocational education and training and their transfer from one participating country to others.

Throughout the project, partners underline also their contribution in promoting:

  • awareness of the importance of cultural and linguistic diversity within Europe, as well as of the need to combat racism, prejudice and xenophobia,

  • equality between men and women and contributing to combating all forms of discrimination based on sex racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation.

Necessity of “Growing on Ethics” for organisations nowadays

It is a fact that an ever-increasing number of companies and other organizations want to make their operations sustainable. Moreover, expectations that long-term profitability should go hand-in-hand with ethical behaviour are gaining ground.

These expectations are only set to increase and intensify the need to move to a truly sustainable economy and that is understood by companies’ and organizations’ financiers, customers and other stakeholders. To ensure this, it is urgent to invest in the right and appropriate skills and improve matching between jobs offered and skills needed.

In this context, a new more ethical behaviour both in business and in personal daily life, are perceived as a more holistic and emergent management need for all kind of organizations, in order to promote sustainability and social cohesion at European level, but also to ensure that everyone is aware and highly skilled in these crucial attitudes.

Motivating business organizations and other stakeholders, to use principles and actions based on ethics, transparency, creation of synergies, leadership, employee motivation, mutual respect and tolerance, conciliation of family life, etc., in their everyday business activities, is fundamental for a better business and social environment.

Concerning the adoption of Ethics and CSR by businesses and their organisations that respect them at European Level, there is still a long way to go since only 24% of big companies, 6% of SMES, 4% of Public authorities and 18% of NGOs are using and implementing Ethics and CSR in their everyday work (United Nations recent study).

Additionally, the Communication from the EC - Rethinking Education (20/11/2012) is very clear about the urgent necessity to invest and promote excellency in VET, through effective connections between VET Systems and the EU Strategy, by “bridging the gap among EU country’s as regards the performance, quality and impact of VET, and its outcomes in terms of more and better skills”.

There is still a big gap between organisational practices and "social and civic competences", and "green skills" which are key competencies for Lifelong learning. According to data from Eurostat and CEDEFOP, only 7% of individuals apply these competences in their professional lives, coupled with the enhancement of performance.

About the main implementation phases of the of GROWING ON ETHICS

CSR and Ethics are an innovative solution to support sustainable development and highly competitive social market economy. It is desirable that all organizations implement a more Ethical and CSR approach that although it is not a mandatory standard, all countries are socially obliged to improve.

The project will be implemented in three major phases:

  • The 1st phase contains the transfer and adaptation of the existing user-friendly and effective methodology about Ethics and CSR, (AconteSer), which integrates training among partners upon the tool-kit “Leading with Responsibility” that contains concepts, tips, and exercises, ready to be used by all managers and employees, provides suggestions for improvements and steps to follow concerning a better more ethical and CSR oriented management model. Moreover, the basic material will be adopted by the partners with adaptations that meet national needs based on the findings derived from a survey and a desk research executed in the participating countries.

  • The 2nd phase contains the creation of an operational ECVET framework for Ethics and CSR focused on special remarks, information and key factors for each country, using the EQF system to define learning outcomes (in terms of knowledge, skills and competencies) and apply ECVET based on learning outcomes, units and allocate ECVET points.

  • The 3rd phase contains the creation of a European Ethics and CSR network with a very straight link with chambers of commerce, VET centers, professional associations, public bodies and research organizations to enhance the value of Ethics and CSR and to speed up the achievement of 2020 national and European goals. Last but not least, it is imperative to address not only SMEs, but also bigger companies, Public Authorities and third sector organisations such as NGOs and Foundations, because no one can stay aside of all these “mandatory changes”.




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