Mexican manufacturing SMEs, sustainability practices and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
Cesín Sastré, Mariana
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The purpose of the study is to know and analyze the sustainability practices that have been adopted and implemented by manufacturing SMEs. This in order to make a relationship between those practices and the 2030 Agenda of the United Nations for Sustainable Development. This was done by using a qualitative approach and carrying out in-depth interviews to better understand how can manufacturing SMEs adapt their own practices to the 2030 Agenda. To achieve this, Gioia et al.’s (2012) template was used as a guide to analyze the information obtained from the interviews. From this, it was possible to find common sustainability practices adopted and implemented by manufacturing SMEs and establish a relationship with the 2030 Agenda. Then, five main actions carried out by manufacturing SMEs in relation to sustainability were identified, namely, proactive actions for the benefit of society and the environment, actions for the company’s benefit and its positioning in the market, actions directed towards employees and in relation to them, actions for public policy, and actions carried out by manufacturing SMEs to reflect on their sustainability practices. Some limitations the study has are that it is context-specific, as it is located in Mexico, it specifically considers the manufacturing industrial sector, and only owners/managers were interviewed. However, the study can still help us understand the manner in which manufacturing SMEs think about sustainability and, hence, how they have adopted and implemented sustainability in the form of practices to subsequently make a relationship with the 2030 Agenda. This helps us observe that even if SMEs do not have in mind the 2030 Agenda at the beginning, they can afterwards align their sustainability practices with the Agenda. For their part, by following the procedure presented here based on Gioia et al. (2012), manufacturing SMEs can identify and classify their sustainability practices in order to then determine what have they been doing and what still needs to be done in relation to the 2030 Agenda to actually become sustainable. Therefore, the study shows how a model presented by the literature can serve as a practical guide for SMEs to become more sustainable when aligning to the 2030 Agenda.