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Sustainable Development: Application and Implications in The Construction Procurement Process According to Contractor Organisations

Sustainability, related to the Triple Bottom Line (TBL) concept, has become a new challenge construction contractors must cope with among all diverse factors that constitute the complexity of a procurement process system. The latter is analysed in this report in terms of sustainability from the contractors’ perspective.
The aim is to analyse the contractors’ role, investigating their perceptive and knowledge of sustainability and studying how they respond to sustainability pressure and transform the latter in key high construction performance.
The research starts with a literature review finalised at broadening knowledge and understanding of the meaning of Sustainability, the TBL concept, the different Procurement methods and the contractor position in the UK in the sustainability context. A Qualitative approach was chosen with the aim of achieving richer data than by means of a solely quantitative approach, for an in-depth understanding of the topic through interpretation of the collected data.
The findings gathered from the interviewees indicated that any action in procurement in terms of sustainability is significant if correlated to an economic return. This can stem directly from the operation or indirectly through benefits to clients, stakeholders and society at large. This is the context of tools such as WLC, LCA and the BREEAM certificate service.
The procurement method does not influence the application of the TBL frame in the procurement process from the contractors’ perspective and according to many studies. The figure of the client as a driver is more important. Nevertheless, contractors can always propose sustainability solutions surpassing the clients’ requirements. The contractors’ early involvement, especially in two-stages tendering can only bring positive benefits in sustainability terms by using their experience and knowledge through cooperation between designers and consultants and through direct dialogue with the client.
Through a sustainability approach contractors can improve their business-image and technical construction reputation. The acquisition of competitive advantage factors translates into extra-points in the clients’ evaluation when bidding for a job, and improves efficiency and effectiveness within the construction process (for example in relation to waste management) with economic benefits. On the other hand, from the contractors’ perspective, there are three main barriers to the introduction and/or implementation of sustainability in the procurement process: lack of knowledge, cost and technical issues. These days, the economic factor remains the driver in contractors’ decision-making that can be translated in a trade-off in the economic, environmental and social factors within a TBL framework adopted in the procurement process. Although contractor firms operate in ways which increasingly seek to achieve an almost perfect balance, the responsibility for achieving a right juxtaposition is identified in the clients’ role as drivers and their unwillingness towards the economic and environmental aspects.

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MSc Project and Enterprise Management 8 2 Sustainability in Construction 2.1 Introduction This chapter briefly explores, through recent literature, the meaning of Sustainability and its interactions in the construction sector. First, a discussion on the meanings of Sustainability and SD are presented and considered in relation to the concept of TBL. Then the chapter describes sustainability in the construction sector context and how different bodies act in consideration of TBL. Finally the procurement process is considered in sustainability terms, examining its different types and the tools that are available these days to improve decision-making in this regard. 2.2 Sustainability and the Concept of TBLriple Bottom Line The sustainability frame is related to SD which is, according to the most accepted definition in the Brundtland Report (Brochner et al, 1999; Addis and Talbot, 2001; Zhou et al, 2006; Myers et al, 2007), the ability of progress to meet “the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs" (WCED, 1987, p. 8). In 2005 the EU recognised SD as integral to all European Community policies in consideration of three important factors: economic, social and environmental (Environmental Law Review, 2005). These constitute the three dimensions of the TBL definition (Henriques, 2004; Savitz and Weber, 2006) proposed in this report as interpretation of sustainability. This concept, formulated for the first time by Elkington in the book Cannibal in 1997 (Elkington, 2004), has been recognised as the main criteria an organisation should follow to achieve sustainability solutions (OECD, 2001; Walker et al, 2008) with the aim of reaching business success not solely in financial terms (i.e. profits, ROI etc.), but also taking into account social and environmental aspects (Savitz and Weber, 2006; Myers et al, 2007) as symbolized by the intersection of three overlapped circles (OECD, 2001; Henriques and Richardson, 2004; Ashworth, 2006) in the Venn Diagram model (Addis and Talbot, 2001:18) in fig. 2.1.

Tesi di Master

Autore: Silvia Passerini Contatta »

Composta da 88 pagine.


Questa tesi ha raggiunto 206 click dal 30/05/2011.

Disponibile in PDF, la consultazione è esclusivamente in formato digitale.