Intervention Strategies to Engage Small and Medium Sized Enterprises in Environmental Good Practice
Business and Law
Management, Small and Medium Enterprise Research Centre
Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are an important part of the world economy but they are thought to be responsible for around 60% of all carbon dioxide emissions by businesses in the UK and 70% of all pollution. SMEs often have major problems with limited resources, limited knowledge and limited technical capabilities to deal with their own environmental impact. SMEs exhibit widely differing characteristics and behaviours where environmental issues are concerned. Yet under these conditions they are all expected to engage in environmentally responsible business for the greater good of society. Interventions that encourage good environmental behaviour are often polarised between regulation and legislation at one extreme and voluntary environmental agreements at the other. It is clear that a holistic mixture of interventions is necessary to achieve maximum engagement by all SMEs. This paper categorises the main behaviours observed in SMEs towards environmental issues and develops a selection or 'tool kit' of intervention strategies that might be deployed within each category of SME for maximum effect.