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Title: Critical factors affecting the project environmental performance as perceived by listed construction companies in Hong Kong
Authors: Pong, Kam Keung
Degree: Ph.D.
Issue Date: 2019
Abstract: Construction activity has major impact on the environment (Ofori, 2000). This research endeavors to find out, from the perspective of listed construction companies, the critical factors affecting their project environmental performance so that strategies and measures can be applied to improve the environment of Hong Kong. The first step is to find out a model which encapsulates a list of elements that can influence the environmental performance of companies. The corporate governance approach emphasizes the importance of three elements, namely the board of directors, the corporate cultures and the environmental management system. The most commonly used system being the ISO 14000. The corporate governance approach focuses on the internal elements which are under the control of the company. The stakeholders' approach, as enunciated by Freeman (1984), reveals that various stakeholders such as the government and media would have an impact on the environmental performance of a company. By modifying Freeman's model to suit the energy industry in Sweden, Lindblom & Ohlsson (2011) have successfully established another stakeholders' model which lists out all the stakeholder elements that affect the environmental strategy of energy companies in Sweden. By combining results of the literature reviews on the corporate governance approach and the stakeholders' approach, ten elements which affect the environmental performance of companies in general have been identified, they are : (a) 'board of directors'; (b) 'green corporate culture'; (c) 'environmental management system'; (d) 'customer'; (e) 'shareholders'; (f) 'government regulations'; (g) 'subcontractors and suppliers'; (h) 'competitors'; (i) 'media and green NGOs' and (j) 'trade union'. These ten elements were brought up to five local leaders in construction industry to seek their opinions and comments. During the interviews, the industry leaders suggested to add two more elements, they were : (a) 'financial institutions and credit rating agencies' which includes banks and Moody's credit rating institute; and (b) 'building project team' which includes the project manager, architect, various types of engineer, surveyor and construction manager. Upon combining their views and the findings from literature review, a new '12-element model' applicable to the listed construction companies in Hong Kong was devised.
Questionnaires have been sent to directors and senior managers of listed construction companies requesting to, based on their perceptions, grade the influence of the twelve elements on their project environmental performance. Eighty eight valid returns of questionnaires have been received. Statistical Exploratory Factor Analysis ("EFA") was conducted and the results revealed that the twelve elements so identified could be grouped into four critical factors. In order of their priorities, they were : (i) the "Business Competitiveness" factor, (ii) the "Corporate Governance" factor, (iii) the "Government Requirements" factor and (iv) the "Collaborators" factor. In contrary to the research results of western countries that government regulatory control is of paramount importance (Fraj-Andres et al, 2009; Wong et al, 1996), the statistical analyses show that in Hong Kong it is only third on the list. Since statistical results indicate that the 'board of directors' is the most important constituent within the "Corporate Governance" critical factor, this research also examines whether the attributes and compositions of the board can have any significant influence on the project environmental performance of the listed construction companies in Hong Kong. Eight attributes and compositions of the board have been identified, and hypotheses are set up for testing. The eight attributes and composition are : (a) the size of the board, (b) the number of female directors inside the board, (c) the average age of board directors, (d) the chairman and CEO duality, (e) the possession of green qualification by board directors, (f) the percentage of independent non-executive directors within the board, (g) the existence of a green committee within the board, and (h) the remuneration of directors tie in with company's environmental performance. Another set of questionnaires have been sent to board directors of listed construction companies requesting them to, based on their perceptions, grade the influence of the eight attributes of elements on their project environmental performance. One sample Z-test statistical analyses on thirty one valid returns of questionnaires revealed that six elements, namely : (i) 'average age of the board'; (ii) 'chairman and CEO duality'; (iii) 'green qualifications of the board directors'; (iv) 'setting up of green committees within the board', (v) 'number of INED in the board'; and (vi) 'remuneration of board directors tie in with the environmental performance of the company', they all had significant influence on the project environmental performance of listed construction companies in Hong Kong, while the other two elements, namely : (a) 'size of the board', and (b) 'number of female directors' did not. The latter part of the results is in contrary to the research results obtained from western countries.
Subjects: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Construction industry -- Environmental aspects -- China -- Hong Kong
Construction industry -- Management
Pages: xvii, 295 pages : color illustrations
Appears in Collections:Thesis

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