Sustainability Barriers in SMEs : A study of strength of sustainability barriers and practical solutions in Green product lifecycle at SMEs

University essay from Jönköping University/Internationella Handelshögskolan; Jönköping University/Internationella Handelshögskolan

Abstract: Background: Small and medium-sized firms (SMEs) have their impact on the environment besides their benefits.  While a business grows, naturally destroying impacts are also growing. SMEs have a variety of barriers to be green and sustainable. There are some simple and non-complicated actions that firms can take, to reduce their destructive impacts on the environment.  This study analyses the existing barriers and focuses on small and medium sizes firms (SMEs) around Jonkoping. Besides, this study includes interviews with successful and sustainable companies and reflects their solutions to overcome those barriers in a different step of the green product lifecycle. Purpose: This is a practical study of how sustainability process in SMEs can drive product lifecycle greener. The purpose of this thesis is to study the existing practical and simple solutions for different environmental sustainability barriers in SMEs which located in Jonkoping region. Also, it goals to reveal solutions which applies by sustainable businesses to overcome to the sustainability barriers. Method: To fulfil the purpose of the thesis, an experimental research design was applied, and the data was provided from in-depth, semi-structured interviews. Ten interviews were conducted with successful businesses in sustainability practice in the Jonkoping region. The data analysis for this study was created by an inductive approach. Conclusion: This study has revealed that the successful green businesses categorizing their barriers into general, segmental, and individual groups. After that, by evaluating the strength of obstacles in different steps of GPL and considering their available resources they plan to apply proper solution. The other main finding in this thesis was a practical framework according to what have been done in our research.

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