Dr Prasanta Dey, Professor in Operations Management at Aston Business School, is helping small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK and India to improve their environmental performance and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) through new innovative research.
The project, funded by the British Council under UKIEIR in collaboration with Professor Sadhan Ghosh from Jadavpur University, Kolkata, is working with universities and SMEs in the UK and from across the world, including Bangladesh, Thailand, Malta, Ireland, Australia and Caribbean countries.
A survey found that although pressure for considering CSR and environmental performance is coming from the government and customers, companies’ greatest motivation comes from moral duty, as well as legislation. The survey also revealed that Indian SMEs have more environmental targets and are more engaged with CSR, but have fewer methods for monitoring their performance compared to the UK SMEs.
Through his research, Dr Dey saw that SMEs are currently monitoring their environmental performance through audits, recycling programs, adopting environmental management standards through ISO 14000, training staff on environmental practices and formal reporting. Despite their current efforts, some SMEs are still under the impression that their work will not impact the environment.
In order to help businesses overcome their environmental concerns, Dr Dey has developed a leading edge green supply chain performance measurement model using both literature reviews and empirical primary research with the industry partners. The green supply chain performance measurement model uses a multiple criteria decision-making method to determine performance level and has four main constructs – economic, operational, environmental and social – that are connected through causal relationships. Each construct has a few sub-constructs that are both practices and performance related.
The model has been validated through its application in a number of organisations in the UK and India, including several West Midlands businesses. Dr Dey measured their green supply chain performance and put various improvement measures into place. The model is capable of measuring green supply chain performance of individual organisation and also benchmarking with the best in the industry. A subsequent survey among the case study organisations on the adaptability of the model revealed that the participating managers are positive in adopting and exploring further development.
Aston Business School is also helping local companies with their environmental performance by working alongside the European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI), based at Aston University, to support ‘low carbon’ development within Birmingham. This has involved projects at all scales ranging from a community share ownership micro-anaerobic digestion system to break down biodegradable waste to a large scale municipal waste handling facility, the project has supported several businesses to develop economic projects.
To discover more about Aston’s innovative and applicable research and how it can help your business, visit www.aston.ac.uk/business or email email@example.com