Transforming small and medium-sized enterprises to address the climate emergency: The case for values-based engagement

Sam Hampton, Richard Blundel, Aqueel Wahga, Tina Fawcett, Christopher Shaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (SciVal)


Collectively, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) make a significant contribution to carbon emissions. Transformative changes are needed to achieve Net Zero amongst the SME community, presenting policymakers and practitioners with a complex and largely unresolved set of challenges. In this paper, we investigate the unexploited potential of human values in facilitating these changes, with a particular focus on the role and experiences of specialist intermediaries, such as business advisors, as agents of change. The paper reports on four linked, transdisciplinary research projects, which tested and validated a values-based intervention in collaboration with businesses and advisors, designed to promote more effective, long-term journeys towards Net Zero. Our study connects research evidence on SME support with key insights from values literature, including the emerging concepts of values practices and values work. We discuss outcomes from the four projects, and the broader implications for research, policy, and practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1424-1439
Number of pages16
JournalCorporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management
Issue number5
Early online date4 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research has been enabled by funding from the Economics and Social Research Council (ESRC) Impact Acceleration Award 1609‐KICK‐231 and 1710‐KEA‐319. Funding was also received from the UK Energy Research Centre ES/J500112/1 and from the British Council and Higher Education Commission (HEC) Pakistan (Pakistan‐UK Education Gateway Project). The authors would also like to acknowledge the contribution made by workshop participants and interviewees in Pakistan and the United Kingdom. The usual disclaimer applies.

Funding Information:
British Council and Higher Education Commission: Pakistan (Pakistan‐UK Education Gateway Project); Economic and Social Research Council, Grant/Award Numbers: 1609‐KICK‐231, 1710‐KEA‐319; UK Energy Research Centre, Grant/Award Number: ES/J500112/1 Funding information


  • climate change
  • intermediaries
  • small and medium-sized enterprises
  • sustainability
  • values

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


Dive into the research topics of 'Transforming small and medium-sized enterprises to address the climate emergency: The case for values-based engagement'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this