Opinions of the Benefits and Barriers of Environmental Management Systems in the SME Construction Industry of the UK

Journal article


Horry, R. 2021. Opinions of the Benefits and Barriers of Environmental Management Systems in the SME Construction Industry of the UK. Proceedings of the Institute of Civil Engineers – Management, Procurement and Law. 174 (1), pp. 23-34. https://doi.org/10.1680/jmapl.19.00033
AuthorsHorry, R.
Abstract

Pressure 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.

Keywordsenvironment ; management ; sustainability
Year2021
JournalProceedings of the Institute of Civil Engineers – Management, Procurement and Law
Journal citation174 (1), pp. 23-34
PublisherICE Publishing
ISSN1751-4312
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1680/jmapl.19.00033
Web address (URL)https://www.icevirtuallibrary.com/doi/abs/10.1680/jmapl.19.00033
http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/56909/1/jmapl.19.00033.pdf
Output statusPublished
Publication dates2021
Publication process dates
Deposited11 Oct 2022
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