Seeking sustainability in the construction sector

Opportunities within impact assessment and sustainable public procurement

Published May 23, 2014

Dissertation: Seeking sustainability in the construction sector: Opportunities within impact assessment and sustainable public procurement

Respondent: Kedar Uttam

Time: 23 May 2014

Place: Room D3, Lindstedtsvägen 5, KTH

" Spikblad (pdf 94 kB) "

Link to dissertation

ABSTRACT

Growing concerns regarding sustainability have led the construction sector to adopt various policy instruments for reducing the impacts caused by construction activities. One such policy instrument includes impact assessment, which enables the construction sector to evaluate the environmental consequences of proposed developments at project (environmental impact as-sessment) and strategic (strategic environmental assessment) level. In recent years, the con-struction sector has also adopted green public procurement, which is a process whereby con-tracting authorities aim to procure services and products that meet environmental requirements. In certain contexts, green public procurement has extended to sustainable pub-lic procurement, which involves the incorporation of both environmental and social consider-ations in the procurement of services and products. Promoting sustainability in the construc-tor sector is a significant challenge. This challenge is primarily due to the requirement of high levels of cooperation among project stakeholders, on the one hand, and a lack of coordination between project planning and implementation on the other hand. Therefore, procurement plays a significant role as it establishes the tone for the interaction between contracting au-thorities and contractors. The overall aim of this thesis is to bolster the knowledge of promot-ing sustainability in the construction sector, with the specific aim of analysing the ways in which policy instruments such as environmental impact assessment and green public pro-curement can be reinforced to improve the coordination between planning and the implemen-tation of sustainability considerations. This thesis conceptualises an inter-link between impact assessment and green public procurement, and identifies the opportunities to develop the in-ter-link. It is appropriate to plan for green public procurement at the pre-decision phase of an environmental impact assessment. The inter-link can be strengthened by involving contractors in planning for green and sustainable public procurement. One way to involve contractors is with the aid of competitive dialogue procedure, which is a procurement procedure that allows contracting authorities to hold discussions with contractors regarding the authority’s require-ments. This study strengthens the conceptualisation that competitive dialogue procedure can facilitate green and sustainable public procurement. The various elements in a competitive dia-logue procedure can enable the contracting authorities to ensure the consistency between the weight for environmental considerations in contract award criteria and the relevant prefer-ences. This thesis also discusses key concerns for progress towards sustainable public pro-curement, which includes among others the incorporation of sustainability values in procure-ment decisions. In addition, this study identified certain discourses on future trends for green and sustainable public procurement. The discourses provide an opportunity for reflection, and thereby indicate that analytical support is required to develop criteria in a way that enables the evaluation of sustainable public procurement against the background of sustainability and jus-tice regarding natural capital. Innovation must be promoted with a focus on sustainability val-ues. Moreover, green or sustainable public procurement must be discussed between contract-ing authorities and contractors in light of its contribution to sustainability.

Key words: Environmental impact assessment; green public procurement; sustainable public procurement; competitive dialogue procedure; construction sector

Welome!

Berit Balfors

Environmental Management and Assessment research group , LWR, SEED, KTH

Page responsible:infomaster@abe.kth.se
Belongs to: Land and Water Resources Engineering
Last changed: May 23, 2014