Environmental concerns in the Hong Kong construction industry : an empirical study

Hong Yan, K. Leung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic research


This research investigates the management concerns, or attitude of the Hong Kong construction industry towards the implementation of Environmental Management Systems (EMS), which provides a framework for the industry for developing, implementing, achieving, reviewing and maintaining environmental policies. The attitude is characterised in the dimensions of perspective of environmental protection, environmental audit system, employee awareness of responsibility, ISO14000 certification, practical participation in environmental control, and the understanding of the motivation in implementing the EMS. A questionnaire survey and field interviews were conducted and some key findings are summarized as the following. All companies understand that environmental management is another key factor in management. But operational cost is still a very important factor. Large companies would allocate resources in the implementation stage of EMS, while small/medium ones gave priority to the planning stage. The companies have adopted environmental management in their construction projects mainly at the request of legislation regulations and the client’s requirement. Business reputation and compliance of regulations are the most important when a company considers environmental management in its corporate strategy. Government legislation and regulations are found to be the most important motivation factors for EMS implementation. The companies have indicated that it is worthwhile to invest in the EMS, and expect these investments to be paid back in around 5 years. The direct operational areas, such as energy usage or waste management, obtained high degrees of participation. But some ‘soft’ areas, such as communication relations and nature conservation received lower degrees of participation. Finally, the result clearly confirmes the importance of the top management commitment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-94
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Construction Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management of Technology and Innovation
  • Strategy and Management
  • Building and Construction

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