Presents the findings of a UK-based study into the environmental practices of SMEs (i.e. small and medium-sized enterprises employing up to 250 people). The firms were found to be environmentally "reactive", and this is explained by reference to a system of interconnected and negatively reinforcing practices. This is corroborated by organisational self-assessments, with firms accepting that they have a low commitment to environmental issues. It was apparent that the firms would like to improve their environmental performance, but the authors argue that meaningful progress will be achieved only if there is a shift to a more proactive model of environmental practices.