Drivers for Embedding Sustainability Initiatives within Selected UK Industrial Sectors

Renukappa, Suresh Hennagara, Egbu, Charles, Akintoye, Akintola orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-0611-5824 and Subashini, Suresh (2014) Drivers for Embedding Sustainability Initiatives within Selected UK Industrial Sectors. Journal of International Real Estate and Construction Studies, 3 (1). ISSN 2153-6813

[thumbnail of Version of Record] PDF (Version of Record) - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.


Official URL:


Sustainability concerns the management of an organisation‘s total business impact upon its immediate stakeholders, the society, and the environment within which it operates. For businesses, however, the very concept of sustainability is elusive. The issue is not whether businesses will engage economically viable, environmentally sustainable, and socially responsible activities, but why they should do so. There is, however, little empirical research on the key drivers for implementing sustainability initiatives in, particular, UK industrial sectors, which is the core driver of this paper. Given the relatively new and unexplored nature of the research problem, the qualitative research methodology was adopted. Four industry sectors: energy and utilities; transportation; construction; and not-for-profit organisations (NPOs) were considered based on the environmental, social and economic impact on the UK society. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to collect industry perception, which was then analysed at aggregate and sector levels using content analysis for inference and conclusion.
The data analysis revealed five key drivers that have fuelled the need for implementing sustainability initiatives. They are: reducing operating costs; protecting or enhancing organisational reputation; stakeholders‘ pressure; government regulation/legislation; and top management commitment. The study also revealed that drivers for implementing sustainability initiatives varied across the four sectors. This could be due to the fact that sustainability issues are highly industry-specific. The paper concludes that identifying and understanding drivers for implementing sustainability initiatives is a complex process. A complex mix of political, economic, social, and environmental forces drive UK industrial sectors to implement sustainability initiatives. Therefore, understanding the drivers for implementing sustainability initiatives is important. However, selecting and implementing sustainability initiatives depends on the type of industry and the driving forces affecting sustainability in that industry.

Repository Staff Only: item control page