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Student Spotlight

Alumna Profile: Shelley Mitchell

Degree: Natural Resources and Environmental Studies

Dissertation Title: An Empirical Investigation: How Small to Mid-Sized Enterprises Use Innovation on the Path toward Ecological Sustainability

Advisor: Dr. Michael Merenda

Shelly Mitchell

Description of Research

Dependence upon the natural environment is redefining the business relationship between ecological, economic, and social systems. In addition, the major market forces of diminishing natural resources, extreme transparency and increasing social expectations are reshaping a new sustainability path for companies. This empirical investigation will explore the phenomenon of sustainability in small to mid-sized enterprises (SMEs), focusing on the link between innovation and ecological sustainability. In addressing the research questions, an Eco-Sustainability Conceptual Framework (ESCF) was developed and applied to a sample of SMEs. In addition, the development and use of an Eco-Scorecard (ES) helped to identify key performance indicators (KPIs) for measuring the extent to which SMEs are sustainable enterprises. Testing the compatibility of the ESCF and ES occurred through semi-structured interviews conducted at five SMEs, which allowed participants to identify strengths and weaknesses in terms of the company’s movement toward ecological sustainability.

Awards and Activities
Selected Presentations and Publications
Professional Affiliations and Service
Related Link
While at NHPTV, I secured R&D funding and was an advisor for The PLANET GRANITE initiative, which focuses on raising awareness, presenting possible solutions, and highlighting activities that advance sustainability practices. Through a partnership of statewide organizations involved in sustainability issues, the PLANET GRANITE initiative includes educational and community outreach to encourage involvement by individuals, communities, schools, and businesses.