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Factors Promoting Environmental Responsibility in European SMEs: The Effect on Performance

Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, Plaza de la Universidad 1, Albacete 02071, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Beatriz Junquera
Sustainability 2016, 8(9), 898;
Received: 1 June 2016 / Revised: 23 August 2016 / Accepted: 29 August 2016 / Published: 5 September 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eco-innovation and Competitiveness)
There is increasing social and political awareness of the importance of developing environmental responsibility at a corporate level. When focusing on issues of responsibility, large companies are frequently perceived to be more responsible for driving climate change and resource depletion. However, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) contribute significantly to the use of resources such as material and energy and produce approximately 64% of the pollution in Europe. Drawing on evidence from “The Eurobarometer 381 Survey on SMEs, Resource Efficiency and Green Markets”, we analyze the environmental responsibility of European SMEs, studying their compliance with environmental legislation and how several factors drive environmental orientation among SMEs. Our sample consists of 3647 SMEs operating in 38 countries. Only around a fifth of the firms go beyond environmental regulations, showing the highest levels of environmental responsibility. We conduct OLS regressions to analyze the factors that affect a positive environmental attitude among European SMEs (internal drivers being more significant than external ones) and then, to observe the positive effect of environmental responsibility and firm’s experience in offering green services/products on performance, although a conjoint effect was not found. Implications for practitioners, academics, and policy-makers are outlined. View Full-Text
Keywords: environmental responsibility; drivers; performance environmental responsibility; drivers; performance
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Sáez-Martínez, F.J.; Díaz-García, C.; González-Moreno, Á. Factors Promoting Environmental Responsibility in European SMEs: The Effect on Performance. Sustainability 2016, 8, 898.

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