How do contractors select suppliers for greener construction projects? The case of three Swedish companies
Journal article, 2014
There are many studies of contractor selection based on clients and the selection of suppliers by contractors. However, supplier selection specifically related to green construction projects has been much less studied. Green construction differs from conventional construction because of differences in its underlying principles and use of environmentally-friendly materials and technologies. This paper studies how procurers in contractor companies in Sweden adopt green projects and how contractor perception of supplier mastery of green knowledge affects supplier selection. The investigation is based on a set of semi-structured interviews conducted among three large contractors in Sweden. A main finding is that the perceived differences between green and conventional projects do not change supplier selection dramatically. An implication is that "greener projects" is a more appropriate denotation than "green project". Evidence shows that suppliers' green knowledge is an important factor in supplier selection, as respondents rated suppliers' knowledge of green projects as very important, and to fix his, there was a consensus among respondents about the need for close collaboration between contractors and suppliers. To ensure knowledge acquisition from suppliers and to increase their competitive advantage over rivals, contractors collaborate with their suppliers in a partnering setting. It is anticipated that the results of this study will be used to fill the gap in the literature on supplier selection in green projects and can also be used for construction firms contemplating getting involved in green projects.