Determining factors that enable managers to implement an environmental management system for sustainable construction: A...Published: 18 September 2018 by Wiley in Business Strategy and the Environment
In this study, the underlying factors that could promote the successful implementation of an environmental management system (EMS) to enhance sustainable construction were considered. The assumption was that the perceptions of top and senior managers affect the success of the implementation of an organisation's EMS. A quantitative, sample‐based approach was used to gather data through online questionnaires; semistructured interviews were also conducted. A targeted sample comprising 198 managers of one company was selected, and 69 responses were received—approximately 35% of the total population sampled. Out of seven top management employees, interviews were conducted with five executives (including the chief executive officer). Descriptive analysis, weighted mean average, and chi‐square test were used to analyse the data. The study revealed that factors that could influence attitudes and perceptions relating to environmental issues among managers in the construction industry are generation (age), level of education, and knowledge and awareness. In this study, older managers and those with higher levels of education were more receptive to promoting environmental issues in the organisation. Even though most of the participants indicated that environmental management was important for their organisation, it was not considered as a priority compared with other issues. However, an EMS was perceived as a formal way to enforce environmental management in their operation. We conclude, therefore, that it is pertinent to include environmental management in the curriculum for the education of construction professionals, so that it forms part of their training.
Despite the fact that the South African economy is highly diversified, the sustainability of its economic growth depends on the availability of two critical resources: water and energy. The national energy grid is mostly based on coal combustion, with very few viable alternative resources. Large amounts of water are needed to produce energy from coal and, in most places where coal reserves are located, there is evidence of water scarcity. The sustainable management of both sectors is essential, since research has shown that access to potable water and energy will lead to a better quality of life for people and help alleviate poverty. This paper will focus on the interlinkages and understanding of the trade-offs between water and energy and its implications for sustainable development in South Africa. The simultaneous implementation of selected Sustainable Development Goals targets could help reduce the trade-off between the two sectors.