Impact of Industrial SMEs in the Environment Conservation : A Systematic Mapping Study

Carlos Leonidas Yance Carvajal, Joan Carles Gil, Angela Diaz Cadena, Juan Calderon Cisneros, Miguel Botto Tobar, Felix Enrique Villegas Yagual


Small and medium-sized companies have an impact on the environment where they operate. In some cases, the effects on the environment can be significant within local communities leading to a series of negative processes, such as emission pollution into the atmosphere, the discharges to rivers and seas, the production of waste; in some cases, it makes the contamination to the soil. This paper presents the results of the systematic mapping study aimed at assessing environmental management in industrial SMEs. Descriptive studies of SMEs emphasize their poor environmental commitment, describing them as primarily interested in controlling pollutant emissions just to comply with regulations. Ninety-eight papers were identified, and the results indicate that environmental management is not fully incorporated as a standard in the management processes of SMEs, so their environmental performance depends on the degree of pressure placed by control agencies, authorities, or clients. Such companies believe that the economic resources allocated for environmental care are costs rather than investments. However, research on environmental management in SMEs shows the uniformity of environmental strategies with a low level of development. The intellectual interest arose based on the need to identify the environmental needs that small businesses in developing countries must attend. The paper is justified by its own condition of proposing sustainable development, with the possibility of providing a real vision of the situation of industrial businesses in environmental matters.


SMEs; eco-efficiency; environmental strategy; sustainability development.

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