Although this emerging management modes can improve the rapid growth of manufacturing SMEs (Li, Jinfeng and Xuezhu, 2012), there are a few troubles the enterprises have been met, these barriers would hinder the development of SMEs to implement SSCM (Laukkanen and Patala, 2014). These barriers are required to be identified and addressed to enable adoption, implementation of supply chain sustainability management. However, it is practically impossible for these organizations to simultaneously eliminate all these barriers due to scarcity of resources available to them. Therefore, these organizations are required to develop effective strategies that can provide a path for reducing these barriers. This requires that these organizations identify the sources of these barriers in the first place, analyse the barriers and provide some solutions to them (Nidumolu et al., 2009; Gupta and Barua, 2018a; Gupta et al., 2017). The Chinese government introduced ‘agents’ as an approach to promote MNCs’ ability in investments in China’s manufacturing sector (Srai and Shi, 2009). Many studies have investigated green and sustainable supply chain management (Amore and Bennedsen, 2016; Gupta and Barua, 2017, 2018a, 2018b; Hafkesbrink and Halstrick-Schwenk, 2005; Hellström, 2007; Huang and Li, 2015; Tseng and Chiu, 2012); others on drivers to green and sustainable supply chain management (Chen, 2008; Cai et al., 2014), with a recent study on sustainable supply chain management (Kusi-Sarpong et al., 2019a). Yet, to date, studies specific to the identification of the barriers and overcoming strategies for achieving sustainable supply chain management adoption and implementation is limited in SMEs.