Support to Improve Sustainability of SMEs with Close Ties to Local Communities

Support to Improve Sustainability of SMEs with Close Ties to Local Communities


SMEs play a major role in the sustainability of the local economy, society and environment. However, due to the severe business environment, proactive efforts to improve sustainability have been a challenge. On the other hand, in the era of SDGs, regional SMEs are expected to contribute to improving the sustainability of local communities by expanding their social responsibility efforts and addressing local issues.
Since FY 2019, the CSO Network has been working to address the gap between the current situation and expectations regarding the sustainability of SMEs by listening to the voices of the people on the ground, to understand the situation and initiatives faced by SMEs in terms of their relationship with local communities and society, and to consider what is necessary and what can be done to bridge the gap. In the case of SMEs, CSR and community contribution activities often arise from the relationship with stakeholders, we conduct surveys and analyses based on the awareness of local ecosystems. Utilizing the results of surveys and analyses, we will work to develop tools to support SMEs that enhance their sustainability.

Our History

In the CSO Network, from FY 2013 to 2015, we have deepened the consideration of sustainable regional development from the perspectives of different local actors, such as local residents as the main actors in community development, and administrative efforts in sustainable public procurement from fiscal 2016 to 2018. With regard to CSR, we have been striving to promote responsible supply chains and sustainable procurement, especially at large companies. These achievements, knowledge, and a wide range of networks will be utilized in this business.

Our Booklet Series

Community-Based Survey of SMEs with Consideration for Sustainability

We conducted surveys with SMEs in Saga Prefecture in July 2019 and the Tama region in Tokyo in October 2019. In addition to the efforts of each company to take sustainability into account in its community-based business, the following pages describe the points that have been identified in the surveys that lead to the sustainability of SMEs and the support that is needed, as well as the linkages between the initiatives of each company and the SDGs.
CSO Network will continue to analyze survey results, conduct surveys in other regions and urban areas, and conduct stakeholder surveys of each company.

Community-based SMEs

– Saga Prefecture –

Case Study #1
Tokunaga Porcelain Co., Ltd.
“Bringing people together through “Glocal” production to build the future”
Case Study #2
Imari Green Farm Corporation
“Aiming for sustainable agricultural management together with local community”
Case Study #3
Oshima-Gumi Co., Ltd.
“Nurturing young people and playing a role in the local construction industry in the region”
Case Study #4
Tanida Construction Co., Ltd.
“Creating a valuable future for the benefit of society as a community-based company”
Case Study #5
KMTec Co., Ltd.
“Considering what can be done for our children and continuing to take on challenges”
Case Study #6
Oshima Industry Co., Ltd.
“Together with the forest and the people for the future”
Case Study #7
Torikai Corporation
“With the mission of “Creating a recycling-oriented town and revitalizing the local community”

– Tama Region in Tokyo –

Case Study #8
K & AI Corporation
“We want to make everyone involved to enjoy happiness”
Case Study #9
Emalico Kunitachi Co., Ltd.
“Hoping to connect local agriculture to the next generation to support enjoyable dining table”
Case Study #10
Maeda Metal Co., Ltd.
“Prioritizing safety, consideration for the environment, and relationships of trust with local communities and employees”


CSO Network publishes columns on the themes of SDGs and human rights on an irregular basis.

Japanese column

Please refer to this page

English column

・A Brief Introduction to Business and Human Rights
Part 1:What Businesses Must Value

・”SDGs and Human Rights: About the Perspective of Wanting to Improve SMEs and Regional Society’s Sustainability”
Part 1
Part 2


・Course Report
SDGs Implementation Seminar:Acquiring Know-How on Turning SDGs into Business Management Strategies

This report summarizes the course content of the Academic Year 2020 Yokohama City University Extension Course “SDGs Implementation Seminar: Acquiring Know-How on Turning SDGs into Business Management Strategies,” hosted by the Yokohama City University Contributions to Society Center. The report focuses on the worksheets provided for course participants and the process of filling them out.
Click here for details of the report

This project is being implemented with the support of the Environmental Restoration and Conservation Agencys Japan Fund of Global Environment.