The Influence of Location on Small Firm Environmental Impact Management

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


University of Canterbury


Faculty of Business and Law


School of Management / Small and Medium Enterprise Research Centre




Redmond, J. L., Walker, E. A., Simpson, M., Parker, C., & Morris, R. J. (2011). The Influence of Location on Small Firm Environmental Impact Management. Paper presented at the Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management Conference. Wellington, New Zealand. Available here.


Small firms are not engaged in the environmental agenda and for real change to happen this is essential due to their significant contribution to global pollution. Although there are studies that compare small firm environmental response based on context variables such as industry or country, the influence of other more local context variables, such as geographic location, accesses to resources, and the influence of the local government authority have not been considered. This omission may be critical to achieving environmental engagement by small firms and a factor which has been overlooked in most of the literature. To address this gap, a one-on-one survey-based data collection was employed whereby the researchers went to 226 businesses in Location A and 240 businesses in Location B in two respective light industrial areas. Results show that small firm environmental management practices concerning waste, energy and water differed depending on the local context variables. The implication here is that if the local context in which these businesses operate influences the practices employed, developing strategies that acknowledge the influence and consequences of local context may be more effective than those currently available. New strategies may result in better engagement and responses by small firms in the environmental agenda and assist government and environmental organisations to achieve reduction in environmental harm and realise climate change targets.

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