Promoting environmentally sustainable enterprises: some policy options

Blundel, Richard; Monaghan, Adrian and Thomas, Christine (2012). Promoting environmentally sustainable enterprises: some policy options. In: Blackburn, Robert and Schaper, Michael T. eds. Government, SMEs and Entrepreneurship Development: Policy, Practice and Challenges. Farnham: Gower, pp. 171–184.



Governments around the world are taking an increasing interest in promoting environmentally-sustainable economic activity. They have developed a variety of policy approaches in an effort to address environmental issues that range from localised pollution incidents to global climate change. This chapter examines the kinds of intervention tools that are being used to improve the environmental performance of SMEs, and to guide entrepreneurial energies towards more environmentally-benign goals. The chapter aims to: (1) outline the main options available to policy-makers; (2) compare specific intervention tools, noting their strengths and limitations; and (3) discuss the case for adopting more holistic approaches to address the pervasive, complex and often deeply-rooted challenges of sustainable development. Key lessons are that policy makers need to select appropriate combinations of tools based on careful reviews of the evidence, and that well-integrated, context-sensitive policies are likely to prove the most effective.

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