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FONSECA, Sergio Azevedo  and  MARTINS, Paulo Sérgio. Environmental management: a planet's pledge, a challenge for public policies, incubators and small firms. Prod. [online]. 2010, vol.20, n.4.  Epub Nov 26, 2010. ISSN 0103-6513.

The paper aims to contribute to academic reflections on the role of business incubators as institutional agents to promote environmental performance by small firms. Based on the assumption that these firms have natural structural weaknesses and, as a consequence, intrinsic difficulties in investing in environmental assets, the paper suggests that a particular public policy, namely, business incubators, could contribute to overcoming these barriers and thus pave the way for environmental investments. Two important findings should be highlighted: a) the neglect of the incubators investigated (and thus, of the nurtured firms) with respect to environmental performance; b) the absence of stimuli, from business incubators, for environmental investments. From the results, an important conclusion may be drawn: namely, that where weak patterns of environmental performance are identified, both the incubators and the firms being nurtured, should create and implement an array of measures, consisting mainly of public policies, conducive to changes in behaviors and attitudes.

Keywords : Business incubators; Environmental strategy indicator; Environmental management systems; Performance evaluation of business incubators.

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