Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME) can, and often do, embrace social, environmental and economic sustainability as part of their business operations even when it might not be named as such and can seem far removed from core activities. SME owner-managers are often keen to ensure a strong, positive legacy for their business, especially where the business is a family concern. Their smallness can actually be an advantage: owner-managers can strongly influence employee behaviour and a lack of formal management structures can make change easier. SMEs can also adapt quickly and agilely when it suits them, leaving them well-positioned to take advantage of new niche markets for products or services with socially responsible components. Find resources and information on sustainability and SMEs here.
The Latest From the SME Blog
NBS Topic Editor Dr. Laura Spence and colleagues report on the evolving research agenda for CSR and SMEs. Sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR) in… Read More
Research proposes three ways small and medium enterprises (SMEs) can tackle ISO 14001 certification.
Apply CSR metrics to your Balanced Scorecard.
Small businesses that proactively pursue CSR perform better than their penny-pinching peers.
Customers increasingly want to deal with socially and environmentally conscious businesses. This presents opportunities for small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) owners to develop new areas of competitive advantage. Capitalizing on sustainability opportunities can lead to longevity, but requires managers who can integrate a sustainable development framework into their company’s strategy.
A key place to find new value is corporate social responsibility (CSR) — initiatives that drive economics as well as social or environmental agendas. But most of the research in this area has focused on large firms. How do small companies identify and leverage CSR opportunities?
Some small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have been climbing onboard the sustainability bandwagon due to increasing stakeholder pressures. In the case of U.S. wineries, concerns around endangered species preservation and agricultural chemical use contributed to the development of a voluntary sustainability code by the industry’s largest trade association, the Wine Institute.
Limited research has examined the strategies small firms use to reduce environmental impacts. It is often assumed these firms don’t have the resources to undertake voluntary, beyond-compliance initiatives. Can small firms truly go beyond the basics and form proactive environmental strategies?