The adoption of green business practices among small US Midwestern manufacturing enterprises

Weslynne Ashton, Suzana Russell & Elizabeth Futch (2017). “The adoption of green business practices among small US Midwestern manufacturing enterprises.” Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 60:12, 2133-2149. DOI: 10.1080/09640568.2017.1281107

Abstract: Manufacturers around the world green their businesses for a variety of reasons, including competitiveness, social responsibility, and external stakeholder pressure. However, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are thought to lag behind larger ones in the adoption of green business practices. This paper explores the motivations for US Midwestern SMEs adopting a variety of green business practices, using a survey of 59 SMEs in the tool and die manufacturing industry. The majority of firms appear to be internally motivated to implement green practices – driven primarily by cost and competitiveness concerns, more than by social responsibility concerns. External coercive pressure from government or customers does not appear to be a significant motivation for these SMEs. However, informal pressure through government incentives and support programs, as well as mimetic pressure through peer learning via industry associations, appear to be more effective in helping these SMEs to further ‘go green.’

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