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Evaluation of an environmental mangement network solution for small to medium sized enterprises within the Mid-West region of Ireland

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dc.contributor.advisor O'Regan, Bernadette
dc.contributor.advisor Moles, Richard
dc.contributor.author Ryan-Fogarty, Yvonne
dc.date.accessioned 2017-02-09T15:23:03Z
dc.date.available 2017-02-09T15:23:03Z
dc.date.issued 2009
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10344/5517
dc.description peer-reviewed en_US
dc.description.abstract Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are a crucial component of the European economy. In light of the current (2008-2009) economic situation, their importance in terms of employment and revenue generation may place them at the forefront of economic restructuring. A definitive assessment of their total contribution to environmental degradation has proved elusive, however, it is estimated that their cumulative impacts are significant. Networks and clusters have been identified as important structures for SME growth, development, and dissemination of supports. Recently, it has been proposed to introduce industrial ecology through networks as a means to enhance the environmental performance of SMEs. This research is based on a pilot project to establish an eco-industrial network among SMEs in the Mid-West Region of Ireland, in which 18 companies were studied. As part of the pilot project each company received an environmental review, a report detailing environmental improvement measures, and a calculation of their ecological footprint. Based on the companies’ environmental issues, uncovered as part of the environmental review, collaborative opportunities for improvement were identified. A workshop was held to ascertain the viability and potential uptake of the opportunities identified. On completion of the pilot project the findings of the environmental reviews, ecological footprint calculations, collaborative opportunities identification, and feedback from the participating companies were analysed. It was found that attributes of the companies’ such as their sector, location, knowledge of legal issues, size, structure, and management of external relationships affected their environmental performance and uptake of improvement measures. Policy approaches required were critiqued based on the examination of the impacts of these attributes. The findings also suggest that the strict use of the SME definition is not useful in predicting the likely environmental impacts of companies and approaches that focus on existing companies, networks and clusters are more likely to advance the implementation of industrial ecology. en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher University of Limerick en_US
dc.subject SMEs en_US
dc.subject European economy en_US
dc.subject Ireland en_US
dc.subject employment en_US
dc.title Evaluation of an environmental mangement network solution for small to medium sized enterprises within the Mid-West region of Ireland en_US
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/doctoralThesis en_US
dc.type.supercollection all_ul_research en_US
dc.type.supercollection ul_published_reviewed en_US
dc.type.supercollection ul_theses_dissertations en_US
dc.contributor.sponsor IRC en_US
dc.rights.accessrights info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess en_US


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