Achieving `sustainable business': a study of perceptions of environmental best practice by SMEs in South Yorkshire

Taylor, Nick and Barker, Karen and Simpson, Mike (2003) Achieving `sustainable business': a study of perceptions of environmental best practice by SMEs in South Yorkshire. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 21 (1). pp. 89-105. ISSN UNSPECIFIED

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Full text URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1068/c0219

Abstract

This paper provides an account of a questionnaire-based study of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and their responses to the current requirements of environmental best practice. The study was based within South Yorkshire.We aim to explore the current relationship between SMEs and the environment and how this affects their concept of `sustainable business'. The main finding reported
is that most manufacturing and service organisations surveyed believe environmental issues affect their business. However, meeting environmental requirements is seen as a business cost that is not transferable to customers in terms of added benefits and few organisations could show that it led to a competitive advantage. SMEs have only a generalist awareness of environmental legislation, and information provided by most local support services is not presented in a format that is efficient or
effective. Our recommendations are that the assistance provided by local support agencies with regards to environmental best practice should be critically reviewed, and this review should seek to understand the reluctance and real difficulties faced by SMEs in comprehension and implementation of environmental legislation. This paper should therefore be used in conjunction with associated information when considering the best way to help prepare SMEs for greater involvement in environmental best practice
and the achievement of sustainable business.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:This paper provides an account of a questionnaire-based study of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and their responses to the current requirements of environmental best practice. The study was based within South Yorkshire.We aim to explore the current relationship between SMEs and the environment and how this affects their concept of `sustainable business'. The main finding reported is that most manufacturing and service organisations surveyed believe environmental issues affect their business. However, meeting environmental requirements is seen as a business cost that is not transferable to customers in terms of added benefits and few organisations could show that it led to a competitive advantage. SMEs have only a generalist awareness of environmental legislation, and information provided by most local support services is not presented in a format that is efficient or effective. Our recommendations are that the assistance provided by local support agencies with regards to environmental best practice should be critically reviewed, and this review should seek to understand the reluctance and real difficulties faced by SMEs in comprehension and implementation of environmental legislation. This paper should therefore be used in conjunction with associated information when considering the best way to help prepare SMEs for greater involvement in environmental best practice and the achievement of sustainable business.
Keywords:Environmental policy, Environmental legislation, SMEs, Small to medium-sized enterprises
Subjects:N Business and Administrative studies > N200 Management studies
Divisions:College of Social Science > Lincoln Business School
ID Code:953
Deposited By: Bev Jones
Deposited On:12 Jul 2007
Last Modified:12 Jun 2014 08:06

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