Integrated Green Lean approach and sustainability for SMEs: From literature review to a conceptual framework

Rebecca Siegel, Jiju Antony, Jose Arturo Garza-Reyes, Anass Cherrafi, Bart Lameijer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

117 Citations (Scopus)
311 Downloads (Pure)


Over the last decades, there has been growing pressure on organizations to manage their operations in a responsible manner to improve their environmental and social performance. This has motivated organizations and researchers alike to identify ways to implement sustainable operations. In this context, Green-Lean has emerged as a major part of the sustainability answer. The discussion on Green-Lean in the context of manufacturing SMEs is in a less developed stage and deserves attention. Thus, the main objective of this research was to identify and analyze, through a systematic review, data on the challenges, success factors, tools and techniques, sustainability aspects, frameworks and benefits of Green-Lean in manufacturing SMEs. A systemic model representing the relationship among the determinants to implement a Green-Lean initiative for manufacturing SMES is also presented and discussed. The findings indicate that the most common challenge to Green-Lean implementation is a lack of metrics and measurement. 5S is the most used tool. In addition, the majority of frameworks have been developed for specific industrial sectors instead of generic frameworks to reduce/eliminate different wastes. However, these frameworks have missed the social dimension. The main contribution of this paper is the provision of an exhaustive summary of the state of knowledge and systematic classification of the relevant literature on the Green-Lean initiative in the context of SMEs. The findings are useful for both academics and SME owners and managers to undertake measures for improving sustainability.
Original languageEnglish
Article number118205
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Early online date28 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2019


  • Conceptual framework
  • Green-lean
  • SMEs
  • Small and medium-sized enterprises
  • Sustainability
  • Systematic literature review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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