Business sustainability framework for European manufacturing SMEs
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SMEs find it difficult to deal with environmental issues due mainly to their limited resources in terms of money, people and time. Our research also identified other barriers to engaging SMEs in environmental improvement activities, such as lack of awareness of their impact on the environment, belief that any measure regarding improvement of environmental performance means higher cost and insufficient access to environmental information, tools, training, information on available funding and incentives. In response, the FutureSME team has developed the Business Sustainability framework which is intended to support manufacturing SMEs in four key areas: cutting costs, gaining a competitive advantage, being compliant with legislation and finding new business opportunities, whilst improving their environmental performance. The framework includes an environmental toolkit, which comprises an environmental training programme and a set of environmental tools. This paper describes the Business Sustainability framework for SMEs.
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