Opinions of small and medium UK construction companies on environmental management systems
Booth, Colin A
Awuah, Kwasi Gyau Baffour
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AbstractPressure to reduce the environmental impact of construction activities has increased, such that a paradigm shift is required. This paper presents stakeholder opinions of environmental management systems as a means for the construction industry to respond to these issues. Using a previous approach, the views of small and medium construction companies were sought, using questionnaires to ask respondents to reveal their perceived benefits of and barriers to implementing the ISO 14000 suite of environmental management standards in the UK. Detailed statistical analysis showed that environmental management systems can sometimes produce quantifiable benefits to organisations in terms of cost reduction. However, from a contractor’s view, the greatest benefit was a reduction in environmental impact outweighing financial benefits. Findings also demonstrated numerous barriers to an organisation exist, both internal and external, regarding adoption and use of environmental management systems. The most critical barrier was that cost savings do not always balance with the expense of implementation. Furthermore, waste minimisation at the design stage is viewed as most important. In general, the opinions gauged in this study indicated that short-term profits are normally considered more imperative than long-term gains. Therefore, despite a need to focus on developing strategies for removing or reducing the challenges of environmental management systems, the reality is that they may not be the panacea to sustainable development, as is often touted.
CitationBailey, M., Booth, C.A., Horry, R., Vidalakis, C., Mahamadu, A.M. and Awuah, K.G.B., (2020). 'Opinions of small and medium UK construction companies on environmental management systems'. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers-Management, Procurement and Law, pp. 1 12.
PublisherThomas Telford Ltd
JournalProceedings of the Institute of Civil Engineers: Management, Procurement and Law