ABSTRACT

In this chapter, we address the application of mixed methods and indicate where and how it can have practical action to address environmental sustainability within small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It complements the academic focus of previous chapters with insights as to how mixed-method research is shaping our world today. The chapter sets out with insights by Steve Harris, Industrial Ecology expert at the Swedish Environmental Research Institute, describing how mixed-method research has been applied to develop indicators used to assess industrial symbiosis projects and urban development. Next, are the insights from Brad Pettitt, Mayor of Fremantle, Western Australia, as to how the City of Fremantle uses different methods and data to inform their sustainability and low carbon policies and initiatives and how they benefitted from both, quantitative and qualitative data. Before concluding the book, we complement this with an informal dialogue with Ruth Hillary, a leading UK sustainability consultant, where we discuss the added value and challenges of mixed methods. The decision to take a discursive iterative approach to create this part of the chapter is to reflect the experimental journey that mixed-method research can take and to capture the complexities confronting the researcher.