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Sustainability and the UK construction industry - a review
journal contributionposted on 08.08.2019 by Israel Adetunji, Andrew Price, Paul Fleming, Pam Kemp
Any type of content formally published in an academic journal, usually following a peer-review process.
The quest for sustainability has put the construction industry under immense pressure from the Government and general public to improve its unsustainable pattern of project delivery. This study aims to undertake a baseline review of the UK construction contractors’ engagement with the concept of sustainability and gauge their response to the issues being raised. However, based on the premise that the major firms drive the industry forward by managing their supply chain, the research deliberately focuses on the top end of the industry. Quantitative methods developed through an extensive literature review form the main research epistemology to test the research hypotheses. The paper documents the analysis of a questionnaire survey of the top 45 construction contractors (based on turnover). The respondents are classified into A, B and C firms according to turnover. Most of the respondents share the view that a proactive sustainability strategy, supported by effective reporting to essential stakeholders, can have a major positive impact on organisational competitiveness. The overall sustainability performance among the groups differs considerably. The survey results indicate that there is a tendency for firms with a higher turnover to engage proactively with sustainability. However, the results also suggest that irrespective of size, substantial progress has only been made regarding the environmental aspect of sustainability, even though there is wide-spread recognition that sustainability has three dimensions: environmental, economic and social.
Raynesway Construction Southern (part of Balfour Beatty group)
- Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering