An Assessment of Environmental Sustainability Compliance in Public Procurement of Works in Ghana

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November, 2019
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The need for sustainability ascended from the recognition that the wasteful, excessive, and inequitable nature of current patterns of development, given the not-too-distant future projection, presents not a desirable ecosystem. Humanity must therefore as a matter of urgency and necessity save the remnants of the only environment readily available to humans. If it can be agreed that an essential precondition to a sustainable socio-economic system is a sustainable environment, then it should be logical to take actions that will enhance environmental sustainability compliance. The literature on sustainable procurement in both the public and private sector has seen a steep increase over the last few years. Such literature include research on the “development of sustainability in public sector procurement, which focused on the actors and factors that influence the speed of implementation of sustainability initiatives in the Netherlands. Despite the growing interest in sustainability, there is still scarcity of information on environmental sustainability compliance in public procurement of works. The purpose of this study was therefore pivoted at filling that research void in the Ghanaian context. The philosophical paradigm adopted in this study was that of positivism, where the positivist epistemology is objectivism. This study took place in the two largest cities in Ghana, where the study mainly employed a purposive sampling technique which was augmented with snowball sampling to select a sample of two hundred and sixty (260) out of which a total of one hundred and sixty-one (161) questionnaires were successfully retrieved which represented approximately 73% of the questionnaires administered. The electronic questionnaires (softcopy) were emailed to the respondents in a form of attached Microsoft Word file and a web link produced by Google Form so as to aid online responses. The Cronbach’s alpha coefficient test was employed to measure the internal consistency and reliability of data from the adopted scale of measurement. The descriptive analysis of the demographic data collected was then followed. Factor analysis, mean score ranking, crosstabulation, relative importance index (RII), and one sample t-test were the analytical tools employed to achieve the specific objectives of the study. The findings of the study were that in the Ghanaian construction industry perspective, keeping land clearance to a minimum, use of sustainable fuel, segregating and recycling solid wastes generated by construction activities, and noise control were found to be the key environmentally friendly practices being complied with. Furthermore, the results from this study using the Alston’s Likert scale interpretation range, indicated that the Ghanaian construction industry moderately comply with environmental sustainability practices. The recommendation therefore is that the government of Ghana should institute policies that will compel contractors to comply with environmental sustainability.
Thesis submitted to the Department of Construction Technology and Management, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the award degree of Master of Philosophy in Procurement Management
Sustainability, procurement, public procurement, sustainable public procurement,, environmental sustainability, compliance, Ghanaian construction industry