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Airing the dirty laundry - improving cooperation in SME environmental management

Lock, P. and Baudains, C.ORCID: 0000-0001-8340-864X (2011) Airing the dirty laundry - improving cooperation in SME environmental management. In: 13th International River Symposium, 11 - 14 October, Perth, Western Australia.


Light industrial Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) worldwide are an integral part of their local social and economic fabric, making essential contributions to national and global economies, but also representing significant risks to wetlands and waterways. These characteristics have made SMEs increasingly obvious targets for engagement in the sustainability process. How these initiatives are targeted has a significant bearing on their likelihood of success, and in their cost effectiveness. From the macro view considering the suitability of governments, representative bodies, companies or individuals to address specific SME environmental issues, to the micro perspectives on the relevance of conservation psychology in influencing the environmentally sustainable behaviours of individuals’ business practices; all have a place in the strategic targeting of initiatives to improve environmental outcomes for wetlands and waterways. This paper examines the use of the System-Individual Blame analysis and the Diffusions of Innovations model (Rogers, 2003) to improve the targeting of cost effective environmental management interventions with light industrial SMEs in Western Australia. The focus on Laggards and Late Adopters using cooperative, individualised and sitespecific environmental auditing is both challenging and intensive, but can invite considerable economic and environmental benefits, and provide pointers for strategic community behaviour change engagement.

Item Type: Conference Item
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Environmental Science
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