Overcoming Barriers to Sustainability: An Explanation of Residential Builders' Reluctance to Adopt Clean Technologies
Business Strategy and the Environment, Vol. 18, No. 8, pp. 515-527
28 Pages Posted: 30 Jan 2008 Last revised: 30 Jul 2012
Date Written: February 9, 2010
The construction industry has great opportunities to significantly reduce CO2 emissions by improving energy-efficiency of residential buildings. However, in this industry diffusion of cost-effective clean technologies has been notoriously slow and below potential. This paper sheds light on factors that explain why construction companies have been reluctant to adopt energy-efficient technologies. It questions why some companies have intensified their investments in clean technologies, while others are lagging behind. Based on a multiple case study of four Dutch building contractors, the paper shows that contractors that actively gather information and build internal technical capacity are keener on adopting energy-efficient technologies. Findings also reveal that it will be a major challenge for the construction industry to communicate the advantages of clean technologies to (potential) home buyers and create market demand.
Keywords: clean technology, energy-efficiency, sustainability, construction industry, dynamic capabilities, stakeholders
JEL Classification: D21, L2, M1, M14, Q4, Q42
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