Research Output
Empowering SMEs to embrace the SDGs in a Post-Covid Scotland
  The United Nations Environment Programme - UNEP argues that the global coronavirus pandemic has caused unimaginable consequences to the global community's economy, social structure, and ecosystem. Overcoming this situation is only possible when environmental responses, plans, and policies are given the importance they deserve. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development - OECD has emphasised that the network of public, business, and non-government sector parties should work collaboratively to create better conditions for economic growth, social cohesion, and employment generation. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide a framework for how a business can act responsibly. Although the SDGs are an international agenda, they put emphases on local organisations and national governments to implement them through their business plans and policies. In this chapter, we will explore how the Scottish small and medium-sized enterprises – SMEs, owner-managers – implement the SDGs agenda 2030 by using UN SDG Action manager tool. Our approach will consider three levels. First, we explore the meaning of the SDGs within a Scottish business context and highlight the role of learning and development in creating more sustainable organisations. Second, we examine the action research approach used to support participants to learn and implement the UN SDG Action Manager tool in their organisations. Finally, based on the participants' situational analysis, we discuss the key findings focusing on: (1) lack of partnership and collaboration, (2) lack of understanding and the language used in the regulations, (3) lack of communication and incentives. Through the journey with 15 Scottish SMEs, we will understand the business reality in planning, implementing, and learning the 17 SDGs.

  • Date:

    31 December 2021

  • Publication Status:


  • Publisher


  • Funders:

    Edinburgh Napier Funded


Fonseca, A. P., Crossan, K., Hock, T., Bratton, A., & Weaver, M. (2021). Empowering SMEs to embrace the SDGs in a Post-Covid Scotland. In ISBE Conference Papers



sustainable development goals; sustainability; small and medium-sized enterprises; organisational learning; action research, action learning; SDG Action manager.

Monthly Views:

Available Documents