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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/5020

Title: SME's and sustainable entrepreneurship: theory and practice
Authors: CRALS, Evy
Issue Date: 2004
Publisher: Interdisciplinary Press
Citation: Philips, C. (Ed.) Environmental justice and global citizenship, Interdisciplinary Press, p. 37-46.
Abstract: Sustainable entrepreneurship is a spin-off concept from sustainable development. It can be defined as the continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development, while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the local community and society at large, or simply as business that takes into account the 3 Ps: people, planet, and profits. Sustainable entrepreneurship became en vogue after the successful 1995 protests against the dumping of the Brent Star Oil Platform in open sea. The owner, the Dutch multinational Shell, withdrew its decision and started to consult the stakeholders. Many (big!) companies followed suit: Nike, Levis, Philips, Unilever, and so on. They all now publish their yearly sustainability reports. Ever since, a whole battery of techniques and procedures have been developed to promote sustainable entrepreneurship in audits (ISO 14010/14011/14012/14031, AA 1000), codes (Levi, Nike, GAP, C&A, ICFTU, AIP, ETI), management (ISO 14001, EMQS, SA 8000, AA 1000), and labels (ecolabel, GSC, FLO). To obtain, for example, the ISO-certificate may prove very expensive for a small and medium-sized enterprise (SME). So, why would SMEs become sustainable entrepreneurs and, if they choose to do so, can they afford it? Apparent reasons for SMEs to become sustainable entrepreneurs are: a positive image; motivated personnel; cost efficiency; risk containment; and, market opportunities while dealing with other sustainable entrepreneurs. But the question remains: can SMEs really afford it? This paper explores both theory and practice. A case-study is made of ES Tooling, a Belgian SME.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/5020
ISBN: 1-904710-13-1
Category: B2
Type: Book Section
Appears in Collections: Research publications

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