The construction industry, as an economically strategic sector and a large contributor to pollution generation, is expected to face enormous obstacles if it doesn't respond to the new business and regulatory environmental requirements in an increasingly competitive market after international trade liberization. A practical tool to achieve sustainable construction is through adopting Environmental Management Systems (EMS). Movement towards environmental management systems is getting momentum in the construction industry of most developed countries. However this field is still a relatively new and the concept is still marginalized in most of the developing world. It is suggested that lack of awareness is a major contributor to this lag. This paper reports on the results of a research on the environmental awareness of the top 50 contractors in Egypt. It investigates their ISO 14001/EMS awareness, opinions about contractor's responsibility towards the environment, necessity of ISO 14001, and obstacles and potentials for ISO 14001 adoption. These results will pave the way for effective implementation of EMS by contractors in Egypt. The paper also discusses integrating sustainable construction principals with EMS. This integration should result in environmental, social, as well as economical benefits.

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Journal of Cleaner Production

Sakr, D, Sherif, A, & El-Haggar, S.M. (2010). Environmental management systems' awareness: an investigation of top 50 contractors in Egypt. Journal of Cleaner Production, 18(3), 210–218. doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2009.09.021