Social Production

A project of the Austrian strategy of sustainability

Soziale Produktion

„Better one product coming from the heart than one thousand without a soul! - Lower Austrian social initiatives and projects are already offering a large number of sustainable products and services. Through concerted coordination this offer for public and private clients will be expanded and will be used increasingly", according to the conviction of Dr. Stephan Pernkopf, provincial environmental counsel.

By order of public institutions, many products from mass production are utilized according to the principle "amount and efficiency", and more and more they are procured from low-wage countries. At the same time, in Lower Austria there is a variety of projects and initiatives on the second and third labor markets, which exercise environment-relevant activities in the fields of production, services or occupational therapy.

The pilot project of the Austrian strategy of sustainability, "social production", performed as a partnership between the Department of Rural Development and KOMUNITAS OG, has shown that the assigned social institutions show good results concerning quality and efficiency. Up to now, the focus is on the Lower Austrian soil campaign (soil colour paint box, soil bag, transport and storage), and on the waste associations (recycled snow shovel, lottery dispenser and so on). Up to the present, a volume of more than 150,000 Euros has been shifted.

Chances for public and private clients:

Orders for social projects may now and then be a bit more time-consuming regarding coordination, they have, however, a huge creative potential to be developed. So to speak as a side effect they facilitate or guarantee the qualification of the persons employed in social projects, and make double use of the public money spent for social institutions! Certainly, also private undertakers may make use of the model of "social production"!

In the long run, the model of „social production" may be conveyed to further public institutions and economic enterprises. To this end, it is necessary to elaborate criteria for procurement and evaluation of effects of sustainability and efficiency.