Environmental Management: capacity and conceptual development in environmental networks

Research output: Working paperResearch


The doctoral research project is co-financed by DUCED-I&UA and is part of a joint effort of Thai, Malay, South African and Danish universities to conduct collaborative research on the overarching theme "Environmental Management: Globalisation and Industrial Governance in Developing Countries". The PhD project is expected to conclude ultimo 2005. Environmental management and cleaner production (CP) are both internationally recognised as tools for minimising environmental impacts of production or services. However, several studies have shown that especially SMEs, which probably amount to more than 90 percent of the total number of enterprises, are experiencing a vast number of both external and internal barriers towards the implementation of preventative environmental measures. In general, SMEs are therefore not introducing such improvements to the same extents as larger companies are. The largest barrier to overcome seems to be the lack of human resources and capacities, but an apparent absence of financial means seems also to play an important role. In recent studies and evaluations of for example Danish measures to introduce environmental considerations in SMEs, it have been suggested that partnerships and networking could play a considerable role in bringing about the knowledge (capacity development) the single company itself does not contain, but which is of vital importance in connection with environmental improvements. Especially Europe has seen such networks bloom, e.g. Green Network in Denmark and ECO-Profit in Austria. In this paper, it is explored how Green Network in Denmark has been able to move from a general focus on "environment" to a more holistic approach (sustainability) with social responsibility as the hub in the (new) wheel. In the final section of the paper, some reflections on how the case study fits into the PhD project will be presented.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationUniversity of St. Gallen
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2004

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