Innocent Ngare, Evelyn Wemali, Cecilia Gichuki, Nathan Gichuki, Issac Kipkemoi, Joseph Karanja
Integrating Environmental Concerns in Enterprises and Businesses for Sustainable Development
Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have become a major driver of economic growth and development in Kenya. Government agencies, development partners and non-governmental organizations have invested considerable resources and effort in promoting business innovations and enterprises. However, environmental concerns and even sustainability issues have in many instances taken a back stage. This paper seeks to highlight the drivers of SMEs, types of SMEs, their general environmental impacts and recommend some strategies and tools that can be used to ensure environmental integrity, human health and sustainability of benefits arising from SMEs. Review of documented evidence indicated that the major drivers of SMEs are economic recession resulting in job losses in large industrial and commercial companies, unfavourable climate which affects livelihoods and natural resources; and inflation and reduced incomes from employment and sale of agricultural products. As a result unemployed people even workers in formal employment engage in small business to improve their income. SMEs tend to have low capital outlay and lack adequate safeguards against environmental impacts and sustainability. There is also growing trend of applying new innovations and technology to venture into new enterprises. These enterprises are spread over a number of economic sectors, such as energy, agriculture, transport and communication, and financial services. Among these are Ecopreneurs, who have established individual businesses or social entrepreneurs who have established business have been driven by profit generation and environmental concerns. These include merchants of solar panels, builders of biogas units and waste recycling facilities to generate new marketable products or services. Integration of environmental concerns in business enterprises can be achieved through a number of strategies: creation of environmental awareness, planning for mitigation of anticipated adverse environmental impacts, adopting cradle t business design, the triple accounting and some eco-industrial park principles. The existing discrepancy between economic and environmental accounting can lead to wanton destruction of global commons, especially natural resources and systems that maintain and/or generate new resources. It is therefore prudent for all business enterprises irrespective of their size to integrate some aspects of environmental protection in their business plans.
Small Microfinance Enterprises, Entrepreneurship, Environment, Ecopreneurs, Business
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Innocent Ngare, Evelyn Wemali, Cecilia Gichuki, Nathan Gichuki, Issac Kipkemoi, Joseph Karanja. (2018) Integrating Environmental Concerns in Enterprises and Businesses for Sustainable Development. International Journal of Environmental Science, 3, 68-74