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Title: Towards a framework to enable construction small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to manage sustainability
Author: Upstill-Goddard, James D.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7971 0813
Awarding Body: Loughborough University
Current Institution: Loughborough University
Date of Award: 2016
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The careful management of sustainability issues is increasingly being demanded by construction clients and others within the construction supply chain. Certification to sustainability standards is widely recognised as a means of demonstrating performance in this regard, and many pre-qualification questionnaires and tender processes now explicitly require their suppliers to provide evidence of sustainability standard certificates and policies. However, implementation of these standards is a costly and time consuming process, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Smaller firms often lack the fundamental know-how of how to address the requirements of standards and are required to engage the services of consultancies in order to implement them, which further increases the costs associated with their implementation. This Engineering Doctorate (EngD) was instigated to address the barriers to SME sustainability certification, with an emphasis on the relationship between learning and sustainability. A number of research methods are employed, including a case study, data analysis and interviews, to examine the influences on the ability of SMEs to engage with such standards. The research reveals that higher levels of organisational learning and absorptive capacity determine SME's abilities to implement standards effectively, and a learning framework is developed to support smaller firms in addressing this. The subsequent validation of the approach demonstrates that it yields cost savings by focusing attention on key requirements of certification and compliance. It provides Responsible Solutions with a practicable tool that they can deploy when supporting such firms in the future. A number of recommendations for the further development of the framework are proposed as well as directions for further research in this space.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: EPSRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Eng.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Sustainability standards ; Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) ; Learning framework ; Responsible sourcing ; Organisational learning ; Absorptive capacity