AbstractSustainable material management (SMM) has great potential to lower the adverse environmental and social impacts of construction, which is a major concern. However, studies of SMM and its barriers and enablers in the construction industry are limited. Moreover, past studies failed to examine how these barriers and enablers influence the implementation of SMM practices. This study identified the critical barriers and enablers in the construction industry by examining their relationship with SMM practices. To address this, 17 SMM practices, 16 barriers, and 20 enablers were recognized from an extensive literature review and a discussion with three experts. Responses from 102 material management experts were collected conducting a questionnaire survey. Following this, an exploratory factor analysis was conducted to extract the factors. A hypothesized model was developed and tested using partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM), which indicated a significant relationship between barriers and enablers on the one hand and SMM practices on the other hand. Optimum use of resources and corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives; stakeholders’ commitment; health, safety, and environment (HSE) initiatives; government directives; and organizational initiatives toward SMM were found to be the critical enabling factors for SMM engagement, whereas inadequate strategies, policies, and regulations on SMM; inadequate resources and managerial attributes; lack of organization’s and other stakeholders’ support; and unethical professional practices were found to be the critical barriers to SMM engagement. This study will help construction practitioners and policymakers adopt an appropriate strategy for SMM engagement in the construction industry. Moreover, this study provides comprehensive insight into the critical factors influencing SMM engagement in the construction industry, which is unexplored in the literature, and thus adds value to the existing knowledge related to SMM.

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