Evaluating the Contribution of Lean Construction to Achieving Sustainable Development Goals

Creative Commons License


Sustainability (Switzerland), vol.16, no.8, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 16 Issue: 8
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.3390/su16083502
  • Journal Name: Sustainability (Switzerland)
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Aerospace Database, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, CAB Abstracts, Communication Abstracts, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, Geobase, INSPEC, Metadex, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Keywords: construction industry, Delphi technique, lean principles, SDGs
  • Yıldız Technical University Affiliated: Yes


The construction industry is scrutinized and criticized for its impact on environmental degradation. Nowadays, while the lean construction philosophy and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aim to alleviate the adverse environmental effects of the construction industry, their synergies remain unclear and ambiguous. Therefore, this study aims to explore the synergies between lean construction principles and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their combined efficacy in mitigating the environmental footprint of the construction industry. In the study, a comprehensive three-step methodology, involving a literature review, focus group discussions, and quantitative Delphi technique analysis, was employed. The analysis uncovers that SDGs (ensuring clean water and sanitation, promoting clean energy, fostering economic growth and decent work, improving infrastructure and innovation, building sustainable cities and communities, promoting responsible consumption and production, conserving oceans, and preserving terrestrial ecosystems) have 63 extremely important linkages and 251 very important linkages with lean construction principles. The analysis results indicate that the synergies are categorized under economic (39%), environmental (42%), and social (19%) factors. Moreover, the strategic triad of lean principles, i.e., “Reducing non-value-adding, focusing on all processes, and continuous improvement”, emerged as key in fostering extremely important interactions. This study’s novelty lies in its integrating of Koskela’s lean principles with the 17 SDGs and 169 targets of Agenda 2030, offering strategic insights for aligning construction processes with the broader 2030 agenda for enhanced sustainability in the construction industry. The findings contribute to finding out the how lean construction principles serve the SDGs.