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Journal cover: Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal

Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal

ISSN: 1477-7835
Previously published as: Environmental Management and Health

Online from: 2003

Subject Area: Environmental Management/Environment

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Improving environmental performance through integrated management systems (IMS) in the UK

Document Information:
Title:Improving environmental performance through integrated management systems (IMS) in the UK
Author(s):Alan Griffith, (School of Environment and Development, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK), Khalid Bhutto, (MLM Consulting Engineers, Ipswich, UK)
Citation:Alan Griffith, Khalid Bhutto, (2008) "Improving environmental performance through integrated management systems (IMS) in the UK", Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal, Vol. 19 Iss: 5, pp.565 - 578
Keywords:Construction works, Environmental management, Health and safety, Management techniques, Quality standards, United Kingdom
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/14777830810894247 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Purpose – This paper aims to report on a government funded doctorate research project examining the developments in and applications of integrated management systems (IMS) applied to the environment, quality, and safety of construction projects in the UK. The research focused on how the integration of standards-based management systems used by major contractors operating within the construction sector could contribute to improvements in the environmental performance of their corporate organisation and their projects.

Design/methodology/approach – The research project utilised a triangulated approach collating qualitative and quantitative data acquired by multiple collection methods of a questionnaire survey, structured and semi-structured interviews and case studies. Qualitative approach involved the development of theory from data, or grounded theory, and evaluation of data, or analytic induction, whilst quantitative approach used data-sampling methods and database coding and analysis.

Findings – The findings show that a number of prominent UK principal contracting organisations have introduced effective integrated standards-based systems for managing a construction project's environment, quality, and safety. Notwithstanding these exemplars, industry-based problems are manifest and include: lack of management systems awareness; passive environmental standpoints; litigious project-participant relationships; and cost-driven, rather than environmentally empathic, cultures. Survey data have identified where and why current problems exist whilst detailed interviews and case studies have identified effective methods of integrating management systems, together with the critical success factors and potential benefits.

Originality/value – The research examines environmental performance within the project environments of the construction industry. The findings add to the current body of knowledge and will be of value to contractors seeking to address environmental aspects of their business through effective management approach. Furthermore, the research has wider value through its experiences and transferable-applications to other industry sectors.

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