Strategies to improve sustainability: An analysis of 120 microenterprises in an emerging economy

Clara Inés Pardo Martínez, Alexander Cotte Poveda

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch Articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Non-technical summary Small and medium enterprises generate an elevated environmental footprint, which requires green transformation to achieve sustainable development. The purpose of this study is to describe the intervention process in 120 microenterprises with the aim of improving environmental and sustainability performance in four categories: sustainability, water, energy and solid waste management to determine the importance to promote the sustainability process in this sector as a key factor to contribute to the inclusion and sustainable development. Technical summary Global small and medium enterprises (SMEs) represent 90% of global business, creating and maintaining 50% of employment, and in emerging economies, formal SMEs provide 40% of the national gross domestic product and the gap of productivity is approximately 7% of global gross domestic product with respect to large firms. This study analyses the strategies and possibilities to improve sustainability in 120 microenterprises. The project included five stages: the postulation, selection and enrolment; sustainability diagnosis; action plan formulation; the results of implementation and evaluation and the feedback on results. This study demonstrated the importance of integrating sustainability into the business to improve productivity, competitiveness and access to new markets; in many cases, the microentrepreneur is unaware of all possibilities offered by having environmentally friendly processes, which was shown with evidence throughout the study. Approximately 242 action plans were implemented, achieving multiple results that involved knowledge of processes and equipment of microenterprises to measure and improve their environmental performance. The findings of this study demonstrated that microenterprises require adequate support and financial programmes that should be designed and implemented by policymakers with the aim of strengthening this sector, decreasing poverty and promoting sustainable economic growth, environmentally friendly processes and development in developing countries. Social media summary Microenterprises have an important role in the economy and have the potential to achieve sustainability processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere3
JournalGlobal Sustainability
StatePublished - Feb 28 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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