Social Enterprise and Environmental Sustainability: Challenges and Opportunities

The Third Sector Research Centre

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The Third Sector Research Centre and Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)

Year: 2013

This publication is based on a seminar held with the centre for Business Relationships, Accountability, Sustainability and Society (BRASS), Cardiff University, on 16 April 2013

Social enterprises play an important role in helping to create a more environmentally sustainable society and economy, and have been prominent in a range of environmentally-orientated sectors, such as waste management and reduction, house building, reducing food miles. But this role has often received little attention.

This seminar report illustrates the multi-faceted contribution that social enterprises make in relation to the environment, and highlights some of the challenges that they face in ensuring that their own environmental performance does not compromise the social or environmental value that they generate.

The publication looks at research on co-operatives, organisations own environmental management systems, and the growth strategies of environmental social enterprises. It discusses a case study on social enterprise and waste, and a report from Defra on the role of social enterprises in inspiring and encouraging sustainable living.

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