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Competitiveness and environmental performance in Spanish small and medium enterprises: is there a direct link?

Larrán Jorge, Manuel, Herrera Madueño, Jesús, Martínez-Martínez, Domingo, Lechuga Sancho, María Paula
Journal of cleaner production 2015 v.101 pp. 26-37
environmental performance, marketing, small and medium enterprises, stakeholders, structural equation modeling, Spain
The increasing social concern about the protection and improvement of the environment has transformed environmental commitment into a new strategic via channel through which to achieve competitiveness in firms. Nevertheless, to date, limited research on this subject has focused on small and medium enterprises. This study addresses this gap by shedding light on the relationship between environmental commitment and business performance as well as their relationship with two other strategic variables: relational marketing and image. From a sample of 481 small and medium firms in Southern Spain and using structural equation modelling, different cause–effect relations were analysed. The results suggest that environmental performance has a positive, direct and significant influence on competitive performance as well as the mediating effects of image and relational marketing. In this regard, this paper offers new empirical evidence of how firms that improve their environmental engagement generate a positive interaction with their stakeholders. An improved environmental performance encourages the appearance of positive reactions for any company's image and its competitiveness. Some of these environmental practices are provided according to their strategic relevance.