Macro-level changes: A voluntary sustainability program to influence the Danish building industry

Amalie Palme Hammershøy, Per Sieverts Nielsen, Nanna Brøgger Overgård

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


he challenge of quantifying sustainability is continuously debated in the building industry. There is an increased need for quantitative solutions to be developed for measuring and comparing performance. The Danish government has proposed a voluntary sustainability program to lift the bottom of the industry with regard to sustainability performance. This study evaluates the possibilities of increasing the sustainability reference level in the building industry based on expert interviews. The study was framed upon the multi-level perspective as a theory to describe the transition to sustainability. The results indicated that existing knowledge and experience within the topics of the regulatory changes is high in the industry. Therefore, the impact of the changes would not be very effective if they are not sufficiently innovative or demanding. Regarding the effect of the voluntary sustainability program, it was found that the program is not very ambitious and likely to only have an impact on companies with a lower level of ambition in terms of sustainable initiatives. The hope, however, is that it will keep raising the level of sustainability.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Green Building
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)19–39
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Multi-level perspective (MLP)
  • Macro-level change
  • Sustainability
  • Building industry
  • Change in legislation
  • Technological transition
  • Sustainable transition
  • Voluntary sustainability class


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