Waste Management - CSR Engagement within the Construction Industry in Sweden
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Over the last few decades there has been a great increase in the attention to Corporate Social Responsibility. Organizations that up until recently have had profit maximization and shareholder value as their only concerns have found themselves in a position where stakeholder demands have created pressure to produce and act on sustainability agendas. Concepts like intergenerational equity, wealth distribution, equality and macroeconomic stability became a part of everyday business language and these days the majority of firms communicate a variety of CSR related issues through annual or separate sustainability reports. Up until recently the construction industry has managed to avoid such demands, however lately, the pressure from various stakeholders such as society, activist groups, governments and external competition, has put the industry among the more environmentally sensitive sectors. Although industry wide CSR involvement has increased within environmental construction management, much is still left to be done.
One area which has received little attention is recycling after demolition. Most companies focus on making new building projects as environmentally friendly as possible, however hardly any attention is geared towards what happens to old buildings being torn down and the lifecycle of the old material. Although construction companies have the legal obligation to recycle hazardous material, much can be improved within the other areas especially regarding the reusing of materials from the demolishing sites which means both environmental and economical aspects are so far being overlooked.
The authors aim to examine the complexities and challenges facing the construction industry in environmental management of demolition projects, and more specifically the effect this has on the recycling and reusing of materials.
In order to research the waste management practices on demolition sites the research employs interview studies conducted through qualitative mostly face-to-face and a few telephone interviews. Complementary cases were selected within different categories of the construction industry sectors related to demolition projects: client, construction, demolition and waste management companies’ employees were interviewed.
The results show that companies within the construction industry realize the potential negative effects their line of business has on the environment. Sustainability agendas in all cases focus extensively on environmental management, which includes proper disposal of demolition waste. The main benefits for recycling and reusing (in some cases reselling) the material were financial incentives and generated competitive advantage, which resulted in better competitiveness concerning procurement. The main challenges identified are time and monetary constraints. Lack of regulation, common standard that would enable firms to compete equally, and lack of common effort and cooperation towards more efficient waste management practices on demolition sites were identified as main hindering factors for industry wide improvement.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 55 p.
Construction Industry, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Demolition Projects, Environmental Management, Environmental Disclosure, Waste Management, Competitive Procurement
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-15627OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-15627DiVA: diva2:428916
Subject / course
IHH, Business Administration
UppsokSocial and Behavioural Science, Law