Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers -

Engineering Sustainability

ISSN 1478-4629 | E-ISSN 1751-7680
Volume 173 Issue 6, September 2020, pp. 271-279
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Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is an increasingly significant area of focus for company operations in a wide variety of economic sectors. Organisations committed to CSR go beyond regulatory compliance and meeting their legal and economic duties, to take into account their broader social and environmental responsibilities. Almost all organisations operate in, and sometimes commission, buildings and/or infrastructure. This paper addresses the extent to which organisations with CSR policies and that are involved in major new construction projects embed their CSR objectives consistently into the design and development process. A framework for analysis is developed from the CSR literature and is applied to four major projects, one project for each of four major organisations. All four organisations were found to have placed a strong public-facing emphasis on social and environmental responsibility. However, only two incorporated their CSR objectives consistently throughout their design and implementation processes for new projects. This lack of thorough integration of CSR issues into projects is considered both to limit the extent to which these projects will deliver social and environmental benefits and to reduce the incentive for the construction industry to innovate, to improve its performance and to safeguard the environment.

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