How can the United Kingdom construction industry implement sustainable procurement strategies

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to examine the implementation of sustainable procurement within the United Kingdom construction industry. The research identified not only a range of benefits from the implementation of sustainable procurement strategies but also barriers. The research extended a previous scoping study and employed a crosssectional study utilising semi-structured interviews to test the initial findings generated by the literature review, involving interviews representing a cross section of the United Kingdom construction industry. Barriers to implementation include cost, inertia and lack of knowledge, amongst others. Whilst the findings from the research suggest that there are a number of barriers to implementation, companies should embrace sustainable procurement and embed strategies within the organisations to achieve maximum benefits and cost savings. Those engaging in sustainable procurement strategies identified the most benefits and did not see cost as a barrier. The impact of these cost savings should be communicated more widely in the United Kingdom construction industry to quell the myth that implementation of sustainable procurement is expensive. Further collaboration would increase participation from those within an often fragmented and adversarial United Kingdom construction industry with a lack of knowledge and resistance to change. The Government should continue to encourage the supply chain to act sustainably and continue to improve awareness of sustainable procurement strategies through the provision of additional information and development of guidance. Having said that, there is much in terms of policy and principles of sustainable procurement but the implementation of these is unclear and contributes to the fragmentation and adversarial nature of the United Kingdom construction industry.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 32nd Annual ARCOM Conference
Subtitle of host publicationARCOM 2016
EditorsP.W. Chan, C.J. Neilson
PublisherAssociation of Researchers in Construction Management
Pages1121-1130
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)978-0-9955463-0-1
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Event32nd Annual Association of Researchers in Construction Management Conference, ARCOM 2016 - Manchester, United Kingdom
Duration: 5 Sep 20167 Sep 2016

Conference

Conference32nd Annual Association of Researchers in Construction Management Conference, ARCOM 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CityManchester
Period5/09/167/09/16

Keywords

  • Corporate strategy
  • Procurement
  • Supply chain
  • Sustainability
  • Benefits and Costs
  • Project Management
  • sustainable development
  • Procurement strategy
  • Resistance to change

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