Main challenges involved in the adoption of sustainable manufacturing in Uruguayan small and medium sized companies
Growing concerns about the environmental impact caused by industrial operations is spurring companies to seek more sustainable modes of production. In this context, adopting sustainable manufacturing (SM) practices still represents a challenge, especially for small and medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). In order to address this issue, this study identified a set of barriers to SM implementation. The main findings reveal that there is limited research on SM from Latin American (LATAM) countries, and the majority of published articles discuss the implementation of lean tools and cleaner production in industry. Additionally, results showed that the biggest challenges that Uruguayan companies have to face are associated with economic and financial barriers. A new categorization of barriers: human perceptions, resource constraints and weak legislation was presented. Finally, the study examines the adoption of SM practices in the country, with cleaner production and product recovery being the most implemented practices. This study concludes that there is an urgent need for government institutions, academia, and organizations to align their objectives and work together in order to support SMEs in their transition towards sustainability.