The importance of environmental due diligence in construction

There are many reasons to prioritise environmental due diligence in construction, ranging from a desire to protect the environment, through to some directly business-related impacts on costs and finance.

In this article we’ll look at some of the main elements of environmental due diligence in construction projects, and why they are so important to the successful delivery of the work.


Why does environmental due diligence matter?

‘Due diligence’ is about meeting your obligations and responsibilities, and reducing avoidable risks. This has benefits for the environment, your business and the specific project at hand.


Help the environment

Major construction inevitably leads to upheaval for the landscape, wildlife, plant life and local ecosystems.

Environmental due diligence allows you to identify protected species so they can be relocated, and to minimise negative effects on important habitats.


Protect your business

Carrying out environmental audits gives you information you can publish to show stakeholders and members of the public that you take your responsibilities seriously.

This is good practice in any case, but can reflect well on stakeholders and protect your brand reputation in the event of an environmental incident on a job.


Deliver projects

Ultimately, environmental due diligence is a way to keep individual projects on track. No interruptions or delays due to discovering a newt on-site, for example.

This has direct cost implications – by keeping projects on schedule and on budget, and by avoiding the risk of fines and financial penalties for disturbing protected habitats and species.


What environmental risks to look for

Some hazardous materials are a threat to human life and health, as well as to the environment, so it is doubly important to assess their presence and prevalence.

Examples include:

  • Asbestos
  • Hydraulic fluids
  • Lead paint
  • Mercury
  • Other known contaminants

In addition to these, your environmental due diligence should also consider the impact of construction on the natural environment, both during and after the work is completed.

Things to put on your checklist here include:

  • Archaeological significance
  • Endangered species
  • Presence of mould
  • Rainwater drainage
  • Wetland habitats

A comprehensive environmental audit can take all of these different factors into account, to create a complete picture of the impact your work will have, and mitigate any avoidable environmental risks.


Find out more

To get help with your environmental due diligence on construction projects in the pipeline, contact hebs Group today on 0151 2360707 and a member of our team will be happy to discuss your needs with you.

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