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Environmental management in SMEs in the UK : practices, pressures and perceived benefits

John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
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  • Ecology
  • Geography


Environmental management represents a significant challenge for small businesses, and prior research has shown that they are typically less engaged with environmental issues than their larger counterparts. At the same time, prior research has seldom explored engagement among small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) with the wide variety of practices that are encompassed by environmental management, nor has it sought to explore heterogeneity among SMEs. In this study, we analyse the extent of SME involvement in a wide range of environmental management practices and the differences between small and medium-sized businesses. We also explore SME perceptions of pressures for, and benefits of, engagement with environmental issues. Our findings show that most small businesses are engaged in some environmental initiatives but that there is significant heterogeneity in the engagement of small and medium-sized businesses. Consistent with this, we show that the smallest companies perceive significantly fewer benefits of engagement with environmental issues. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.

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