Environmental sustainability in digitalized SMEs: comparative study from Poland and Serbia
Pandemic times and an increasing pace of sustainable development have accelerated the process of Industry 4.0 implementation. Digitalization is one of the key issues of Industry 4.0 development. The paper investigates an identified research gap on the perception of digitalization in terms of environmental goals and sustainability in the SME sector. The study features a comparative research design and examines the perception of digitalization in small and medium-sized enterprises in Poland and Serbia. The study gathered 235 responses on the impact of Industry 4.0 and digitalization in SMEs on environmental issues and sustainable development. Findings revealed that digitalizing the company has a positive effect on reducing carbon emissions. However, statistically significant discrimination in reducing harmful emissions was found between Poland and Serbia. Provided research procedure further adds to the practical implication in finding carbon emissions as the most important issue in sustainable development in the SME sector.
Altinoz, B., Vasbieva, D., & Kalugina, O. (2021). The effect of information and communication technologies and total factor productivity on CO2 emissions in top 10 emerging market economies. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 28 (45), 63784-63793.
Ardito, L., Raby, S., Albino, V., & Bertoldi, B. (2021). The duality of digital and environmental orientations in the context of SMEs: Implications for innovation performance. Journal of Business Research, 123, 44-56.
Baiocchi, G., & Distaso, W. (2003). GRETL: Econometric software for the GNU generation. JSTOR. 18 (1), 105-110.
Baltazar, A., & Lopes, J.D. (2021). Industry 4.0 and Sustainability. In: IMCSM Proceedings, International May Conference on Strategic Management – IMCSM21, Serbia, 2021, 17(1), 1-20.
Battisti, M., & Perry, M. (2011). Walking the talk? Environmental responsibility from the perspective of small-business owners. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 18 (3), 172-185.
Beier, G., Niehoff, S., & Xue, B. (2018). More sustainability in industry through industrial internet of things? Applied Sciences, 8 (2):219.
Berg, H., Bendix, P., Jansen, M., Le Blevennec K., Bottermann, P., Magnus-Melgar, M., Pohjalainen, E., & Wahlstrom, M. (2021). Unlocking the potential of Industry 4.0 to reduce
the environmental impact of production. Eionet Report - ETC/WMGE 2021/5. Mol: European Topic Centre Waste and Materials in a Green Economy.
Brkanovic, I. (2005). Nonfinancial obstacles to SME financing in Serbia. EU Accession - Financial Sector Opportunities and Challenges for Southeast Europe, 219-226.
De Man, J.C., & Strandhagen, J.O. (2017). An Industry 4.0 research agenda for sustainable business models. Procedia CIRP, 63, 721–726.
de Jesus Pacheco, D.A., ten Caten, C.S., Jung, C.F., Sassanelli, C., & Terzi, S. (2019). Overcoming barriers towards Sustainable Product-Service Systems in Small and Medium-sized enterprises: State of the art and a novel Decision Matrix. Journal of Cleaner Production, 222, 903-921.
Denicolai, S., Zucchella, A., & Magnani, G. (2021). Internationalization, digitalization, and sustainability: Are SMEs ready? A survey on synergies and substituting effects among growth paths. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 166(C), art.no. 0040162521000822.
Dossou, P.E. (2018). Impact of Sustainability on the supply chain 4.0 performance. Procedia Manufacturing, 17, 452-459.
European Commission. (2014). Supporting the internationalization of SMEs, Brussels, Belgium.
European Commission. (2019). ESPAS Report 2019: Global Trends to 2030. Brussels, Belgium.
European Commission. (2020). An SME Strategy for a sustainable and digital Europe. Brussels, Belgium.
Felsberger, A. & Reiner, G. (2020). Sustainable Industry 4.0 in Production and Operations Management: A Systematic Literature Review. Sustainability, 12 (19), 7982.
Ghobakhloo, M. (2020) Industry 4.0, digitization, and opportunities for sustainability. Journal of Cleaner Production, 252, art. no. 119869.
Happonen A., & Ghoreishi M. (2022). A Mapping Study of the Current Literature on Digitalization and Industry 4.0 Technologies Utilization for Sustainability and Circular Economy in Textile Industries. In: Proceedings of Sixth International Congress on Information and Communication Technology. Lecture Notes in Networks and Systems, 217, Singapore: Springer.
Happonen, A., Minashkina, D., Nolte, A., & Angarita, M.A.M. (2020). Hackathons as a company-University collaboration tool to boost circularity innovations and digitalization enhanced sustainability. AIP Conference Proceedings, 2233, art. no. 050009.
James, A.T., Kumar, G., Tayal, P., Chauhan, A., Wadhawa, C., & Panchal, J. (2022). Analysis of human resource management challenges in implementation of industry 4.0 in Indian automobile industry. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 176, art. no. 121483.
Kamble, S., Gunasekaran, A., & Dhone, N.C. (2020). Industry 4.0 and lean manufacturing practices for sustainable organizational performance in Indian manufacturing companies. International Journal of Production Research, 58, 1319–1337.
Karlsson, R. (2017). The Environmental Risks of Incomplete Globalization. Globalizations, 14 (4), 550-562.
Kayikci, Y. (2018). Sustainability impact of digitization in logistics. Procedia, Manufacturing, 21, 782-789.
Khan, S.A.R., Ponce, P., Thomas, G., Yu, Z., Al-Ahmadi, M.S., & Tanveer, M. (2021). Digital Technologies, Circular Economy Practices and Environmental Policies in the Era of COVID-19. Sustainability, 13 (22), art. no.12790.
Klymenko, O., Halse, L.L., & Jæger, B. (2021). The enabling role of digital technologies in sustainability accounting: Findings from Norwegian manufacturing companies. Systems, 9 (2), art. no. 33.
Kolasa-Wiecek, A. (2015). Stepwise multiple regression method of greenhouse gas emission modeling in the energy sector in Poland. Journal of Environmental Sciences, 30, 47–54.
Kolk, A., & Pinkse, J. (2008). A perspective on multinational enterprises and climate change: learning from "an inconvenient truth"? Journal of International Business Studies, 39 (8), 1359-1378.
Liu, R. (2020). Research on the Export Development of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Cross-border E-commerce: Based on SWOT analysis. In: Proceedings - International Conference on Big Data Economy and Information Management, 112-115.
Madrid-Guijarro, A., Garcia, D., & Van Auken, H. (2009). Barriers to innovation among spanish manufacturing SMEs. Journal of Small Business Management, 47 (4), 465-488.
Marre, M., Beihofer, D., Haggenmueller, W.A., & Grupp, P. (2015). Forming for Resource-Efficient Industry 4.0. In: Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Accuracy in Forming Technology (ICAFT), Germany, 2015; 655–673
Michałowski, B., Jarzynowski, M., & Pacek, P. (2018). Raport - Integracja rynku robotyki i automatyki przemysłowej z rynkiem teleinformatyki. Szanse i Wyzwania Polskiego Przemysłu 4.0. Warszawa: Agencja Rozwoju Przemysłu S.A.
Miśkiewicz, R.; Wolniak, R. (2020) Practical Application of the Industry 4.0 Concept in a Steel Company. Sustainability, 12, art. no. 5776.
Mitrović, Đ. (2017). Technical report: Na putu ka blagostanju 4.0 – Digitalizacija u Srbiji. Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Germany.
Ogrean, C., & Herciu, M. (2021). Romania's SMEs on the Way to EU's Twin Transition to Digitalization and Sustainability. Studies in Business and Economics, 16 (2), 282-295.
Ozcan, B., & Apergis, N. (2018). The impact of internet use on air pollution: Evidence from emerging countries. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 25 (5), 4174-4189.
Palmaccio, M., Dicuonzo, G., & Belyaeva, Z.S. (2021). The internet of things and corporate business models: A systematic literature review. Journal of Business Research, 131, 610-618.
Park, Y., Meng, F., & Baloch, M.A. (2018). The effect of ICT, financial development, growth, and trade openness on CO2 emissions: an empirical analysis. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 25 (30), 30708-30719.
Patsavellas, J., & Salonitis, K. (2019). The carbon footprint of manufacturing digitalization: Critical literature review and future research agenda. Procedia CIRP, 81, 1354-1359.
Popović, T. Report on air quality protection at the local self-government level in the Republic of Serbia. Belgrade, 2020.
Radziwon, A., Bilberg, A., Bogers M., & Madsen, E.S. (2014). The smart factory: exploring adaptive and flexible manufacturing solutions. Procedia Engineering, 69, 1184-1190.
Ramos-Meza, C.S., Zhanbayev, R., Bilal, H., Sultan, M., Pekergin, Z.B., & Arslan, H.M. (2021). Does digitalization matter in green preferences in nexus of output volatility and environmental quality? Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 28 (47), 66957-66967.
Rehm, S.V., & Goel, L. (2017). Using information systems to achieve complementarity in SME innovation networks. Information and Management, 54 (4), 438-451.
Rozak, H., Adhiatma, A., Fachrunnisa, O., & Rahayu, T. (2021). Social Media Engagement, Organizational Agility and Digitalization Strategic Plan to Improve SMEs Performance. IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, 1-10.
Ruchkina, G., Melnichuk, M., Frumina, S., & Mentel, G. (2017). Small and
medium enterprises in regional development and innovations. Journal of
International Studies, 10 (4), 259-271.
Shet, V.S., & Pereira V. (2021). Proposed managerial competencies for Industry 4.0 – Implications for social sustainability. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 173, art.no. 121080.
SEPA (Serbian Environmental Protection Agency). Environment in Serbia 2004-2019. Belgrade, 2019.
Stock, T., Obenaus, M., Kunz, S., & Kohl, H. (2018). Industry 4.0 as enabler for a sustainable development: A qualitative assessment of its ecological and social potential. Process Safety and Environmental Protection, 118, 254-267.
Todorov, V. (2007). Robust selection of variables in linear discriminant analysis. Statistical Methods & Application 15, 395–407.
United Nations (2015). The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, A/RES/70/1.
Żywiołek, J., Molenda, M., Rosak-Szyrocka, J. (2021). Satisfaction with the Implementation of Industry 4.0 Among Manufacturing Companies in Poland. European Research Studies Journal, 24 (3), 469-479.
The Author wishes to submit the Work to SJM for publication. To enable SJM to publish the Work and to give effect to the parties’ intention set forth herein, they have agreed to cede the first right to publication and republication in the SJM Journal.
The Author hereby cedes to SJM, who accepts the cession, to the copyright in and to the paper.
The purpose of the cession is to enable SJM to publish the Work, as first publisher world-wide, and for republication in the SJM Journal, and to grant the right to others to publish the Work world-wide, for so long as such copyright subsists;
SJM shall be entitled to edit the work before publication, as it deems fit, subject to the Authors approval
The Author warrants to SJM that:
- the Author is the owner of the copyright in the Work, whether as author or as reassigned from the Author’s employee and that the Author is entitled to cede the copyright to SJM;
- the paper (or any of its part) is not submitted or accepted for publication in any other Journal;
- the Work is an original work created by the Author;
- the Author has not transferred, ceded, or assigned the copyright, or any part thereof, to any third party; or granted any third party a licence or other right to the copyright, which may affect or detract from the rights granted to SJM in terms of this agreement.
The Author hereby indemnifies the SJM as a body and its individual members, to the fullest extent permitted in law, against all or any claims which may arise consequent to the warranties set forth.
No monetary consideration shall be payable by SJM to the Author for the cession, but SJM shall clearly identify the Author as having produced the Work and ensure that due recognition is given to the Author in any publication of the Work.
Should SJM, in its sole discretion, elect not to publish the Work within 1 year after the date of this agreement, the cession shall lapse and be of no further effect. In such event the copyright shall revert to the Author and SJM shall not publish the Work, or any part thereof, without the Author’s prior written consent.