Evaluating SMEs’ relationship with ‘lean’ and ‘green’ thinking when aiming for sustainable business practice

Loading...
Thumbnail Image
File version
Version of Record (VoR)
Author(s)
Caldera, H
Desha, C
Dawes, L
Griffith University Author(s)
Primary Supervisor
Other Supervisors
Editor(s)
Date
2017
Size
File type(s)
Location
License
Abstract

‘Sustainable business practice’ is an aspiration for an increasing proportion of small to medium enterprises (SMEs) around the world, promising profitability, resilience and positive social and environmental impacts. Alongside this aspiration, ‘lean thinking’ has evolved as a popular business strategy for SMEs, addressing the pressing need for efficiency in production and waste reduction. In this paper, we propose that this co-evolution of ideas has resulted in missed opportunities in harnessing lean and green thinking towards achieving sustainable business practice in SMEs. We propose that a better understanding of how lean and green thinking can enable sustainable business practice will lead to more effective use of precious capital and ongoing expenditure. Focusing on 13 manufacturing SMEs in Queensland, Australia, we present several enablers for sustainable business practice, derived from a series of in-depth interviews with Chief Executive Officers and Senior Managers involved in sustainability and lean manufacturing decision-making. These comprise: integrated strategy, continuous improvement, stakeholder engagement and streamlining processes. We propose that this improved understanding of what enables sustainable business practice can be used to maximise benefits of lean and green efforts and expenditure on tools and processes. We intend that these findings will be immediately useful to SMEs seeking to leverage current and future ‘lean’ and ‘green’ practices to achieve sustainable business practice.

Journal Title
Conference Title
Proceedings of the 18th European Roundtable for Sustainable Consumption and Production, 2017
Book Title
Edition
Volume
Issue
Thesis Type
Degree Program
School
Publisher link
DOI
Patent number
Funder(s)
Grant identifier(s)
Rights Statement
© 2017 Institute for Sustainability Science and Technology, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya-BarcelonaTech (ISST-UPC). The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the conference's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Rights Statement
Item Access Status
Note
Access the data
Related item(s)
Subject
Business analytics
Consumer-oriented product or service development
050205 Environmental Management
050209 Natural Resource Management
Persistent link to this record
Citation
Caldera, H; Desha, C; Dawes, L, Evaluating SMEs’ relationship with ‘lean’ and ‘green’ thinking when aiming for sustainable business practice, Proceedings of the 18th European Roundtable for Sustainable Consumption and Production, 2017, 2017, pp. 531-540