3 Citations (Scopus)


While it is understandable that lean and green practices are mostly sensible for large companies, it is also important to bring these practices to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), as they are the dominant players in various industry sectors. SMEs are part of larger supply chains and contribute substantially to the economy, and thus perhaps there is a need for a workable model that attracts them to the lean and green practices. This study aims to find gaps in the lean-green research area that require development in future studies, especially for SMEs. This study uses an analysis of systematic literature reviews (SLR) and involves carefully selected articles from different databases or sources. This SLR was conducted in an effective and structured way using keywords entered into the search engine and found as many as 157 peer-reviewed journal articles, which were studied further using quantitative and qualitative approaches. The bibliometric analysis carried out made it possible to observe research trends on lean and green from 1996 to 2022. To find different research dimensions on lean and green topics, an in-depth evaluation was carried out on the linkage between lean, green, supply chain management, sustainability, and other management approaches. This study finds a lack of empirical research studies that comprehensively focus on investigating the impact of lean and green practices on the supply chain sustainability performance of manufacturing SMEs and involve all three aspects of the triple bottom line (3BL). Our review suggests such a robust and workable model for SMEs is not currently available. A limitation of our review is the use of keywords or “terms” to select articles, as well as the subjectivity of the researcher. Finally, we identify the research streams, criteria, findings, limitations, and enablers or challenges of 17 selected published journal papers on lean-green studies in SMEs and propose a number of research questions for future research directions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12192
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023


  • green
  • lean
  • small and medium enterprise
  • supply chain
  • sustainability


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