ISO 14000 and the construction industry: survey in China
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The rapid growth of the Chinese economy sparks off a great volume of construction activities. The damage of construction activities to the environment is indisputable, which has alerted some large Chinese construction firms in seeking effective environment management. The ISO 14000 series offer a framework to manage construction operations to improve the environmental performance. In order to unveil the conditions of implementation of ISO 14000 in the construction industry, a structured questionnaire survey has been conducted. The result shows that the major motivation for implementing the system was to seek entering the international construction market. The other benefits resulted from the implementation of the standards are: standardization of the environmental management procedures for internal operations; arousing social recognition; gaining confidence from clients and better corporate image; enhancing environmental awareness of subcontractors; and cleaner sites resulted from better house keeping. However there are some obstacles along the path of implementation such as the financial burden, poor rates of return of most firms, low environmental awareness and inadequate legal enforcements. Based on the analysis and discussion, the paper concludes that the government should take the lead in encouraging training, providing financial support and improvement of the legal framework to promote ISO 14000 for the Chinese construction industry.
Journal of Management in Engineering