Green Growth, Waste Management, and Environmental Impact Reduction Success Cases From Small and Medium Enterprises Context: A Systematic Mapping Study

Elizaveta Tereshchenko, Ari Happonen*, Jari Porras, Chockalingam Aravind Vaithilingam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview Articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
101 Downloads (Pure)


Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are essential to global green growth and are a driving force of eco-innovation. With their capability of fast pivoting, they have become critical players in emerging green industry markets. New firms can especially distinguish themselves in developing sustainable markets with novel, creative, and innovative approaches. Simultaneously, radical innovations in sustainability continue to attract increasing attention. These include the development of green energy generation and storage technologies, bioenergy solutions, the application of eco-innovations, novel municipal waste reduction models, and the wide-scale revision of existing business models. Given SMEs' role in growing markets, this study aims to map academically studied explanations for current models that are deemed successful. We use a systematic mapping study focusing on English language publications devoted to SMEs. The studies selected were publications on environmentally sustainable waste management conducted successfully by SMEs. The studies for the mapping study analysis were selected using several relevant keywords and PRISMA methodology. The authors studied all 127 contributing publications on SMEs engaged in environmental activities, published from 2015 to 2022. This study investigated current trends and identified the most promising areas of environmental activities and sustainable business practices in the SME context. The distribution of recent research across industry sectors and locations has revealed research gaps and provided directions for future research. We have identified the eight most popular sustainability practices and environmental activities in the SME context. The practical implications of the study could help enterprise owners learn about various opportunities for the implementation and pursuit of sustainable economic, social, and environmental development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56900-56920
Number of pages21
JournalIEEE Access
Publication statusPublished - 2023
MoE publication typeA2 Review article, Literature review, Systematic review


  • business
  • business model
  • climate change
  • collaboration
  • emissions
  • environmental activity
  • green growth
  • performance indicator
  • recycle
  • reuse
  • Small and medium enterprises (SMEs)
  • success
  • sustainability
  • sustainable business
  • sustainable operations
  • systematic mapping study (SMS)
  • waste


Dive into the research topics of 'Green Growth, Waste Management, and Environmental Impact Reduction Success Cases From Small and Medium Enterprises Context: A Systematic Mapping Study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this