Keywords: SMEs, small business, environmental communications, environmental reporting, UK, United Kingdom, small and medium-sized enterprises, green image
SMEs and environmental communications: motivations and barriers to environmental reporting
SMEs engaged with the environmental agenda are aware of the value of a 'green' image in their market place, readily using their environmental achievements in their marketing communications and deriving various benefits from it. However, most only produce a formal environmental report when there are clear external pressures compelling them to do so, especially when this is needed to achieve a recognised environmental certification. This paper reports on the results of research indicating that, for most 'green' SMEs, the current cost-benefit balance is such that they see no added value in reporting on their environmental activity. Therefore, unless the concept and image of the environmental report change or legislative pressures or demand from core stakeholders increase, most environmentally active SMEs are very unlikely to take up environmental reporting.