Implementation of sustainability improvements at the facility level: Motivations and barriers

Vincent D. Kuppig, Yvonne C. Cook, David A. Carter, Nancy J. Larson, Robert E. Williams, Bruce I. Dvorak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


A challenge to technical assistance service providers is to identify the driving forces behind the decision a facility may make to implement a change to improve its overall environmental sustainability and to implement cleaner production. Two United States university-based programs that utilize student interns to provide technical assistance surveyed past clients concerning their implementation of past recommendations and their motivations for implementation decisions. Generally, recommendations with a shorter payback and lower implementation cost had the highest implementation rate. Finances were more often a barrier to implementation than a motivation for implementation. Financial motivations were most important for equipment/process modifications and least important for training/policies. Capital was more of a financial barrier for implementation than poor payback, with other priorities for capital investments being more important than a lack of access to capital. Financial motivations were not as important in the decision-making process for public institutions as for private sector entities. The relative unimportance of payback in the decision-making process suggests other indirect and intangible benefits often impacted the decision to implement recommendations or not. Social motives, particularly corporate commitment to resource use/waste reduction, were especially important for recycling and training/policies recommendations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1529-1538
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
StatePublished - Dec 15 2016


  • Barriers
  • Implementation
  • Motivations
  • Pollution prevention
  • Sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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