Across the pond : a comparison of the Mexican & British SMEs and their dealings with sustainability.

2006-08-16T15:08:30Z (GMT) by Ricardo Victoria-Uribe V.A. Lofthouse
Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are widely recognized as an important part of the worldwide economy, acting both as the backbone of local economies and as consumers of natural resources. In light of this, since the 1990’s, research to investigate how to make them more sustainable through the use of sustainable design tools, has been carried out. This paper reports the findings from a doctoral research project which aims to investigate how sustainable design has been introduced into British SMEs and whether these approaches can be transferred to their Mexican counterparts. Whilst it is recognized that British and Mexican SMEs have different contexts and challenges, initial research indicates that they share common goals and may face similar problems in the way that sustainable design is communicated to them. The objective of this paper is to present commonalities between both contexts, analyze the common issues that SMEs in both countries face and explore the existence of a possible gap in the current attempts to apply sustainable design in the Mexican context. It concludes that the lack of access to a network of sources of information is hindering the process for many SMEs.