Theory and Practice of Business under Sustainability Principles
Edited by Geoffrey Wells
Chapter 13: Appraising corporate sustainability of construction contractors: concepts and approaches
The last few decades have seen a growing public concern for sustainability issues associated with the construction industry across various stages of the project life cycle. For example construction activities are responsible for a large amount of on-site environmental impacts such as noise, dust, traffic congestion and water pollution (Glass and Simmonds 2007). Once completed, the buildings and facilities can have a large effect on sustainability issues. According to statistics from the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, buildings contributed to more than 40 per cent of energy consumption in most countries (WBCSD 2007). Indeed the building sector is one of the biggest energy consumers and carbon emitters (Zuo et al. 2012a). The demolition of buildings is also energy intensive and has large environmental impacts such as waste, environmental pollution and disturbance of surrounding communities. As a result there is an increasing level of attention by the industry to pursue sustainable business. For instance a study conducted by the Australian Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility (ACCSR) indicated that the property development/construction industry recorded a slightly above average budget for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) when compared to other industries (ACCSR 2011). Year 2011 saw the release of the Sector Supplement for the Construction & Real Estate industries by the Global Reporting Initiative, re-confirming the importance of sustainability issues in construction related businesses (GRI 2011a).
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