What makes it slow? A questionnaire survey of environmental attitudes, management and performance
Paper in proceedings, 2007
Over the last two decades the Swedish building industry has made much effort to develop green building practices. Researchers within the field have provided theoretical knowledge on how to design green buildings and analytical environmental management tools have been developed to guide practitioners. Information campaigns have raised the general environmental awareness among building practitioners. In spite of these efforts, mainstream building practices do not seem to have undergone any marked changes. This raises the question of how environmental issues actually are dealt with in the building industry. Has the development stagnated and, if so, why? What causes green innovation inertia in the Swedish building industry? What makes it slow? This paper provides some answers to these questions by empirically examining environmental attitudes, management and performance in the industry. The paper is based on a structured questionnaire survey directed to environmental managers at all companies in Sweden with at least 50 employees within technical consultants, building constructors, and property owners and managers and companies with at least 20 employees within architecture. The response rate was 45.4% which corresponds to 246 respondents. The study detects possible causes to deficiencies and creates larger understanding as to why the development, despite much effort, sometimes does not go in the direction as intended by top management. Focusing on relations between the definition of environmental challenge, measures adopted and results from measures, the paper identifies trends and institutionalising processes that hinder sustainable development within the building industry.