Green business process management for business sustainability: A case study of manufacturing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from Germany

T.M. Sohns, B. Aysolmaz*, L. Figge, A. Joshi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have an important position in global sustainability since they are a prominent contributor to global pollution. It is challenging for SMEs to assess their level of business sustainability and identify actions to diminish environmental impact. Sustainability assessment models have been developed for this purpose, but a process focus is missing. Green business process management (Green BPM) aims at reducing the negative environmental impact of organizations through business processes rather than only considering final products and services. Combining literature from business sustainability and Green BPM, our study conceptualizes a Green BPM maturity model and, through multiple case study research, uses it to assess the Green BPM practices of ten manufacturing SMEs. The results reveal the level of business sustainability of SMEs based on six Green BPM factors: green attitude, strategy, governance, modeling, monitoring, and optimization. We further identify relevant benefits, pressures, and barriers that can drive or hinder Green BPM practices. Based on the findings, we make recommendations on how SMEs can accelerate their transition towards higher levels of business sustainability.
Original languageEnglish
Article number136667
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2023


  • Sustainability
  • Green business process management
  • Small and medium-sized enterprises
  • Maturity model

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