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Improving the environmental performance of the construction sector

Improving the environmental performance of the construction sector through linking environmental impact assessment and green procurement

Green Procurement

Project leader: Berit Balfors

Participants: Kedar Uttam (PhD student), Charlotta Faith-Ell (Director of EIA and SEA, WSP, Sweden), Associate Professor Berit Balfors (Department of Land and Water Resources Engineering, KTH)

Key words: construction industry; environmental requirements; environmental performance; green procurement; infrastructure planning; impact assessment

Project Period: 2009-2013

Funder: Formas (the Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning)

Project description

The construction sector is one of the industrial sectors that contribute largely to the environmental load in society. The construction industry is responsible for about half of the consumption of natural resources. In the wake of demands being raised to enhance the environmental performance of the construction sector, various initiatives have been undertaken to deal with the environmental impacts caused by construction activities. It is imperative to address environmental issues during all stages of the planning and the construction process in order to enhance the environmental performance. Also the link between the project planning and the construction phases has been an issue of concern.

Application of green procurement is one way to take environmental issues into consideration in the construction industry. The manifestation of green procurement in the construction sector is in the form of the environmental preferences that have been observed in the public procurement (during the call for tenders) process. However, planning for green procurement at the stage of environmental impact assessment (EIA) is still not evident in the construction sector. Since EIA is a legal requirement for almost all major construction projects, the coordination of green procurement and EIA could strengthen the linkage between the planning and the construction phases. This research project will investigate the link between project planning and implementation in the construction sector and explore the strategies to improve the coordination between EIA and green procurement.


The overall aim is to contribute towards the knowledge of increasing environmental performance of the construction industry by focusing on strenghtening the link between project planning and implementation. The specific aim is to develop an interlinked process for green procurement and EIA so as to enable the efficient transfer of information between planning and construction phases.


WSP Sweden AB

Rijkswaterstaat, Ministry of Transport, Public Works & Water Management, Delft, the Netherlands

Environmental Management and Assessment Research group, KTH


Uttam, K., Faith-Ell, C. and Balfors, B., 2010. Increasing IA effectiveness by green procurement. In IAIA 10 Conference Proceedings. 30th Annual Meeting of the International Association for Impact Assessment. Geneva (Switzerland).