How innovative New Zealand firms procure environmental innovations for the construction industry: a literature review

Anne Staal, John Tookey, Jeff Seadon, Gert Walhof, Mark P. Mobach

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperOther research output


Construction industries in New Zealand and abroad have a low track record for successful sustainable innovations. This often has a negative impact on private and government spending, and on quality, society and the environment. This paper posits that the construction industry needs step-change (i.e. architectural, system, radical, modular) environmental technical innovations to make drastic improvements.
Often entrepreneurial or small to medium-sized firms at the beginning of supply chains or from other industries will introduce such innovations. These firms will use the innovation capacity of suppliers and of their own organisations to transform and commercialise such innovations into the industry. However, after an extensive literature review it remains unclear how innovative New Zealand firms procure environmental step-change technical innovations for the construction industry.
The research focuses on procurement activities within such firms who supply the New Zealand construction industry. These procurement activities interact with (internal and external) innovation activities for an optimal firm performance (in economic and environmental terms) and are affected by clusters of internal and external variables.
The heart of the research consists of two rounds of case studies alternating with two rounds of collaborative focus studies. The research focus is on New Zealand although part of this study will be replicated in the Netherlands. It is part of a doctoral project.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusSubmitted - Oct 2015
Event3rd Understanding Small Enterprises (USE) Conference 2015 - Hanze University of Applied Sciences, Groningen, Netherlands
Duration: 21 Oct 201523 Oct 2015
Conference number: 3rd


Conference3rd Understanding Small Enterprises (USE) Conference 2015
Abbreviated titleUSE2015
Internet address


  • construction industry
  • building industry
  • entrepreneurs
  • small firms
  • SMEs
  • new zealand
  • procurement
  • purchasing
  • sustainability
  • environment


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