Sustainable development in the construction industry
A Gardiner & Theobald case study

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Page 3: Social responsibility

Gardiner Theobald 7 Image 3The responsibility of organisations towards the environment is now a major issue, both on a global and local basis. In 1997 the UK and other industrial countries signed a treaty in Kyoto, Japan committing themselves to reduce the effects of greenhouse gas emissions to below 1990 levels. On a more local level, the UK government has responded by introducing a series of initiatives. A Report carried out by Lord Richard Rogers on behalf of the government, tackles the problems of urban regeneration, by recommending that 60% of new housing should be built on land which has previously been developed. These sites are known as brownfield sites. According to this Report developments should:

  • integrate with their surroundings
  • optimise access to public transport
  • use land efficiently and respect local traditions.

The costs of growth

Macroeconomics is a term that describes the study of the whole economy and the way it interacts. A key macroeconomic objective is to make the most effective use of resources in order to encourage growth. However, a growing economy is one that consumes more and growth comes with associated costs, such as depletion of the ozone layer, an increase in CFCs and the rapid consumption of finite resources.

The construction industry is a major sector of the UK’s national economy and accounts for 7.5% of Gross Domestic Product. GDP is the sum total of a country’s output over the course of a year. In 1998, the construction industry’s output was £62 billion. As an industry it employs in excess of 1.4 million people.

Gardiner & Theobald | Sustainable development in the construction industry