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A Stepping Stone to Enhance Competitiveness through Sustainable Development: A preliminary design for prioritizing between sustainable development activities to enhance the competitiveness of Dutch real estate developers

  • Lambert, Pim (author)
Publication Date
Jul 01, 2021
TU Delft Repository
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Dutch real estate developers are being pressured to obtain a more sustainable corporate strategy to guarantee competitiveness and continuity of their firm. Even though this contextual pressure is being recognized by Dutch real estate developers, it is often not translated to practice. This is remarkable because studies over time have proven that sustainability has the potential lead to an enhanced competitiveness. This study aims to provide a deeper understanding of what is withholding Dutch real estate developers to implement a sustainable corporate strategy, and what the impact is of sustainable development activities is on the competitiveness of such a party. To test this, a literature study was performed to provide insight on the barriers that are present for real estate developers to become more sustainable, how the competitiveness of a Dutch real estate developer can be measured, and which alternatives Dutch real estate developers can implement to become more sustainable. A survey was distributed amongst Dutch real estate developers to determine to what extent certain barriers are withholding them from becoming more sustainable and determine the current position in regards to sustainability. The results show that Dutch real estate developers, amongst some individual barriers from other categories, are mostly being kept from becoming more sustainable due to financial barriers. This is causing Dutch real estate developers to find themselves in a reactive position towards the sustainability laws and regulations set by the government and not proactively operating to become more sustainable. By giving insight towards how sustainability can improve the competitiveness, this problem can be alleviated. Through semi-structured interviews the impact of sustainable development activities on the competitiveness of Dutch real estate developers was measured. The results in general show that sustainability does contribute to the competitiveness of Dutch real estate developers. The order of impact of the sustainable development activities that were found is (1) green product development, (2) green profiling and marketing strategy, (3) green supply chain management, (4) green human resource management, and (5) green facility management. The last phase of this research provides a preliminary design of a corporate decision tool to act as a stepping stone for further research to eventually allow Dutch real estate developers to effectively prioritize between sustainable alternatives.

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