Organisational obstacles to reducing carbon emissions in Hong Kong

S. Thomas Ng, Martin Skitmore*, Jimmy N.H. Cheung

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)
55 Downloads (Pure)


An emerging theme for a nation transiting into a sustainable future is the provision of a low carbon (dioxide) environment. Carbon emission reduction is therefore important for the industry and community as a whole. Buildings contribute immensely to total greenhouse gas emissions, so pragmatic actions need to be taken to cut the amount of carbon emitted by the construction industry. These typically involve strategies such as energy-saving features in the design, construction and operation of building projects. However, a variety of characteristics of the markets and stakeholders involved are suppressing their development.This paper reports on a series of interviews with a variety of Hong Kong construction project participants aimed at identifying the drivers of, and obstacles to, the construction industry's attempts to reduce carbon emissions. The results confirm the main actions currently undertaken are energy efficiency enhancement, green procurement, research and development activities, waste/water management and other technical measures such as the provision of thermal insulation. The majority of the drivers are economical in nature, suggesting that financial aids, and particularly government incentives, are likely to be useful motivators. Also suggested is the increased promotion of the benefits of environmental sustainability to the wider community, in order to alert the general public to the need for reducing the amount of carbon originating from building usage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-126
Number of pages8
JournalHabitat International
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes


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