Addressing the challenges of integrating carbon calculation tools in the construction industry

David Jackson, Kathi Kaesehage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The construction industry is facing growing pressure to reduce carbon emissions.An important first step is to quantify emissions from construction projects enabling designs to be changed and emissions reduced. Whilst progress has been made in the development of carbon calculation tools, the uptake of these tools has been slow. This paper seeks to understand the reasons for the slow implementation of carbon calculation tools in the construction industry and provide guidance on howto overcome these challenges. We find there are specific issues that prevent tools being used such as data security and usability, but more general issues such as alack of education or regulation also pose a challenge. Our findings suggest that despite the benefits that can come from using carbon calculation tools to reduce emissions, the use of tools on their own will be insufficient to achieve the needed carbon reduction and wider emissions-related change. Instead, carbon calculation tools need to be looked at within and across construction organisations through training, industry-wide standards and regulations as well as organisation-wide requirements and collaboration. The construction industry has a reputation for being slow to react to change, but if this industry waits for regulation before taking action, then the timescales involved may be too long given the pressing need to reduce emissions now. We recommend that for carbon calculation tools to be successfully integrated, the industry must work together to achieve more immediate change.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBusiness Strategy and the Environment
Early online date12 Jun 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Jun 2020

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • barriers to change
  • carbon calculators
  • carbon management
  • construction industry
  • emission reduction
  • enabling change


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