This study addresses the issue of reaching small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with appropriate means to help them establish procedures for verification, management review and continual improvement in accordance to the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System (EMS) standard. The relative contribution of SMEs to the total industrial environmental impact is unknown, but it is likely to be considerable, given their contribution to total production and their dominance in sectors such as information technology, electronics, metals, printing, textiles etc. Therefore, the role of SMEs in protecting and improving the environment, through their production and marketing of environmental technologies (for energy efficiency, waste minimization, renewable energy etc.) is likely to be significant. Considering the dynamics of supply chain management, the future contribution of SMEs to improving society's 'eco-efficiency' through innovation is also likely to be substantial. Most SMEs perceive environmental improvement as a costly burden. As they are primarily concerned with short-term economic survival, they are not motivated to ask for, or use, environmental information or support. However, the substantial financial earned by some SMEs adopting 'clean production' have improved their market share and profitability. SMEs in the business of supplying environmental technology would be on the preference list especially in the global market.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Small business--Environmental aspects--Management; ISO 14001 standard

Publication Date


Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

Civil Engineering Technology Environmental Management and Safety (CAST)


Morelli, John


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