Document Type

Theses, Ph.D


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Construction engineering

Publication Details

A Doctoral Thesis presented as part of the requirement for the award of Doctor of Philosophy, Technological University Dublin, 2020.


The Architectural, Engineering and Construction (AEC) sector has been called upon to develop innovative strategies to drive sustainability. Despite the efforts and commitments made, their performance is still observed to be low, this has been linked to the low level of understanding of practitioners. Also noted was the lack of interest by firms due to the uncertainty of the benefits of committing to long term investments. Nevertheless, academic literature and reports have stated that firms nowadays utilise their procurement mechanism to drive their sustainability practice. However, there is a gap in understanding how construction firms adopt and embed sustainability in their procurement process. Data was collected through the mixed-methods approach, and the single embedded case study strategy was used to understand an organisation's sustainable procurement practice from the organisational and project level. Different statistical methods were used in analysing the data obtained. The findings revealed that construction-contracting firms have developed various policies and strategies aimed at promoting their sustainable procurement practice. These strategies were found to include investment in their core capabilities, development of long-term relationships and close collaboration with their supply chains. The adoption and utilisation of digital technology tools and resources were also found to have added value to the firm operations. However, it was noted that the level of collaboration within the firm in terms of sharing of information was quite challenging. Therefore, firms will have to develop strategies that will enable them to provide real-time data to disclose their sustainability performance. The study contributed to knowledge by unveiling the internal organisational strategies of large firms in driving sustainable procurement. Also, the study developed and validated a framework that will aid construction firms in disclosing and implementing their sustainable procurement strategy. Disclosing sustainability performance of construction firms enable their clients and the public to be aware of their contribution towards the sustainable development objectives.