Going green: the evolution of micro-business environmental practices



This paper examines the process through which micro-businesses ‘go green’. It builds upon previous studies that have identified the different drivers of this greening process. However, rather than a static focus on specific drivers, the study articulates the evolution of environmental practices over time. The paper uses comparative case studies of six micro-businesses to build a composite sequence analysis that plots the greening process from its roots through to large-scale and ambitious ecological projects. The study identifies three distinct stages that businesses pass through during this greening process. This has important implications for policy-makers and advisors as it was found that the support needed by the businesses changed as they passed through these different stages. In particular, it was found that appropriate support is currently lacking at certain key points of the businesses' greening development. The paper therefore adds to current understanding of small business ecological responsibility by showing how activities and drivers change with the level of engagement. Pointers are provided as to how support can be improved.