The link between the UN Sustainable Development Goals and social sustainability in the UK construction industry

Watts, GN ORCID: 2021, The link between the UN Sustainable Development Goals and social sustainability in the UK construction industry , in: International SEEDS Conference 2021, 1st -3rd September 2021, Leeds.

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The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) were adopted by all members of the United Nations (UN) in 2015 with the aim of increasing the rate of socio-economic development. According to the UN there is a link between all SDGs, with the success of achieving one, interconnected with the success of achieving the others. The construction industry is a major contributor to global economies, employment, and supply chains and is responsible for the very fabric of society in the delivery of the built environment and the maintenance of the natural environment. It could therefore be argued that the industry is key to the success or failure of the SDGs. Recent UN reports have revealed progress towards achieving the goals is slower than anticipated, with its forecast some goals will not be achieved by the original deadlines imposed. A failure to achieve the SDGs, such as Reduced Inequalities (SDG10) and Climate Action (SDG13), will be a problem felt by both global economies and local communities. As the construction industry operates almost exclusively in the public domain and is accountable to a range of stakeholders, companies must show a commitment to forms of social sustainability and climate action. However, there is a gap in current literature around how the UK construction industry perceives and enacts the SDGs. It is therefore unknown if the construction industry is contributing to, or restricting, the achievement of the SDGs. Through interviews with construction professionals, this inductive study aims to understand how and why construction professionals interpret, understand, and address the SDGs. The results reveal reasons the UK construction industry is not fully embracing the SDGs, such as a lack of general awareness and lack of organisational focus. Potential immediate and future ramifications of this lack of awareness are discussed

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Schools: Schools > School of the Built Environment
Journal or Publication Title: International SEEDS Conference 2021
Publisher: Leeds Sustainability Institute
Depositing User: GN Watts
Date Deposited: 07 Feb 2022 13:22
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2022 17:15

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