This research will assess how Defra can improve its communication and engagement with SMEs on key environmental issues and gather data on the extent to which the current approach is effective. The research will primarily focus on assessing SMEs knowledge and understanding of environmental language and phrases. The research will involve a synthesis of current research as well as primary research with SMEs from priority sectors. It will explore factors such as mechanisms used to engage SMEs on environmental issues (e.g. newsletters, media campaigns, mailshots, Internet), the role of language and how it affects different sectors, and the “turn-off” factor of environmental messaging where SMEs may not immediately see a bottom-line return or wider benefits. Ultimately, the research will help to identify how Defra can improve engagement with the SME community and will look for any unique features in the different priority sectors. Findings from this research will be used to develop improved, and better targeted, communications and engagement with SMEs on environmental issues.