Opportunities and limitations of implementing sustainable development goals in SMEs in Germany

  • Paula Staudacher (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


The importance of sustainability, which integrates social, environmental, and economicobjectives, is inevitable and crucial for the profitability and competitiveness of companies. The17 SDGs defined by the United Nations in 2015 provide a solid framework to support theimplementation of a sustainability strategy. In doing so, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)face different challenges and opportunities. Expert interviews were conducted to analyze andidentify the main motivations of SMEs to engage sustainable as well as the biggest opportunitiesand constraints for them. One of the main motivations for sustainable engagement, besidespersonal interest, is the profitability of a company. The greatest limitation is the scarcity offunds and resources for SMEs and the bureaucracy in Germany. The biggest opportunity forcompanies is the positive company reputation and the resulting impact on customers, sales,employees, skilled workers, and motivation. This dissertation presents the theoretical andmanagerial implications, including limitations and the contributions for future research. The results support the existing data and confirm present knowledge. Actual examples and insights, that were gained through primary data collection aid a comprehensive understanding of the subject matter.
Date of Award3 May 2023
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorMarta Bicho (Supervisor)


  • Sustainability
  • Small and medium sized enterprises
  • Sustainable development goals
  • Opportunities
  • Limitations


  • Mestrado em Gestão e Administração de Empresas

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