Green Marketing as a Tool for Reducing Environmental Footprint of the Construction Industry

Green Marketing as a Tool for Reducing Environmental Footprint of the Construction Industry

Begum Sertyesilisik (Istanbul Technical University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2331-4.ch001
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Abstract

The world's habitat is being deteriorated in an accelerated way. Construction industry is one of the industries which affect the environment adversely due to its processes' and outputs' environmental footprint. Green marketing can play an important role in changing unsustainable production and consumption patterns in the construction industry and in enhancing its sustainability performance. For this reason, this chapter aims to introduce green marketing as a tool for reducing environmental footprint of the construction industry for establishment of the sustainable built environment. This chapter covers the following topics: need for reducing environmental footprint of the construction industry; need for and ways of as well as advantages of, potential drivers for and barriers against using green marketing as a tool for reducing environmental footprint of the construction industry.
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Introduction

Environmental footprint of the construction industry is affected not only by its production processes (e.g. construction process, project management etc.) but also by its outputs (e.g. built environment). Even if the world’s cities occupy 2% of the Earth’s land, they cause 60-80% of total energy consumption and 75% of total carbon emissions (UN website, 2014). The construction industry has adverse impacts on: forests and trees, coral reefs, air quality, water, ozone, and the amount of land for agriculture (Dixon, 2010; Hawken, Lovins & Lovins, 1999; Hill & Bowen, 1997; Shen, Tam, Tam & Ji, 2010). Construction industry’s activities are CO2 emissions intensive (Gardezi, Shafiq, Zawawi, Khamidi, & Farhan, 2016, p. 292). Sinha, Lennartsson, & Frostell (2016, p. 162) emphasized the need for reducing construction industry’s environmental footprint and highlighted that buildings consume “40% of the total energy use, cause more than 1/3 of greenhouse gas emissions, 30% of raw materials use, 25% of water use, 12% of land use, and 25% of solid waste generation (Bribian, Uson, & Scarpellini, 2009; UNEP 2009a, 2009b)”. Building material production phase influences construction industry’s environmental footprint as well (Sim & Sim, 2017, p. 172). Yeo, Ng, & Song (2016, p. 135) emphasized the importance of materials’ environmental footprint and embodied emissions of buildings underlining the fact that approximately 30 billion tons of materials are used in buildings annually (Rincon, 2011). Legislations encourage the construction industry to reduce its environmental footprint and the CO2 emissions throughout the construction project management phases and outputs (e.g. built environment). Furthermore, the EU policies encourage the reduction in CO2 emissions. Construction business development towards sustainable products/constructions and production/construction process is needed for creation of value for the nature and for the future generations. Changing unsustainable production and consumption patterns has been identified in the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development as one of the objectives of sustainable development (UN, 2002; Barber, 2007, p. 499). Sustainable society needs to rely on sustainable consumption as well as on sustainable production (Lorek & Spangenberg, 2014). Marketing can act as a change agent in the economic system (Polonsky, 2011, p. 1314), and it can play a key role in changing unsustainable production and consumption patterns. Green marketing has a great potential for acting as an effective tool for reducing construction industry’s environmental footprint and for enhancing sustainability performance of the demand and supply sides in the construction industry. For this reason, this chapter aims to introduce green marketing as a tool for reducing environmental footprint of the construction industry for establishment of the sustainable built environment. Within the scope of this chapter green marketing’s role in enhancing sustainability performance of the construction industry’s demand side and supply side [e.g. contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers in the supply chain, as well as their construction project management processes, production and construction processes and outputs (e.g. built environment, materials)] has been investigated. This chapter covers the following topics: green marketing concept; green marketing and the construction industry’s supply and demand sides; ways of enhancing effectiveness of the green marketing and integrating its principles into the construction project management phases; potential advantages of using green marketing in the construction industry.

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