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Redefining construction excellence: Make environmental performance your winning tender strategy

Make environmental performance your winning tender strategy

Imagine a construction project where environmental performance isn't just a box to tick, but the cornerstone of your tender's success. How can this shift in perspective transform your approach and outcomes? As you progress through the crucial stages of a project's development – Tender, Pre-construction and Design, Construction – the opportunity to improve environmental performance diminishes. That's why, as we discussed in our recent article, “The Power of Proactivity: Early Environmental Planning as a Keystone for Project Success”, considering environmental performance during construction as your unique selling point in a tender can be a game-changer. This approach can also lower the risk to your project's timeline and budget. It's a win, win for all involved.

In today's fiercely competitive construction market, standing out in tender processes requires more than just meeting the basics. It's about showcasing your commitment to environmental performance – not as an afterthought, but as a strategic advantage. At Naturally Compliant, we believe that integrating environmental considerations into your construction projects can transform potential obstacles into unique selling points that set you apart.


Elevating your tender: Environmental performance as your secret weapon

Environmental performance in construction isn't just about compliance; it's a proactive approach that demonstrates your dedication to sustainability and efficiency. By prioritising this, you not only meet regulatory standards but also showcase your company's values and forward-thinking mindset. This is crucial in an industry increasingly focused on environmental impact and sustainability.


1. Start early: Review the environmental information provided

Construction projects, by their very nature, are diverse and unique. For instance, constructing a wind farm in the western part of the UK, compared to the eastern region, can lead to vastly different challenges due to the climatic differences. The variability in ground conditions and the presence of protected species add layers of complexity to these projects. Even regulatory regimes can differ across the UK.

Environmental assessments, from basic surveys to full Environmental Impact Assessments, are integral in these projects. They provide crucial insights into site-specific factors that impact development. This knowledge is essential to ensure that tender proposals are realistic and achievable, both in planning and in allocating the necessary resources, both financial and programme, for mitigation and enhancement measures. This strategic approach is key to successfully managing the diverse challenges of construction projects in the UK.

2. Collaborate: Communicate the risks and opportunities to the wider bid team

Develop a process to ensure all environmental challenges of a project are shared with the entire bid team. This includes engineers, programme planners, logistics personnel, and project managers. By being aware of site-specific risks and opportunities, each team member can understand how environmental factors influence their area of work. This approach promotes unified goals and consistent information across the team, leading to more effective project management and decision-making.


3. Innovative solutions: Finding a balance between a compliant bid and standing out from the crowd

We recognise that it’s important to submit a compliant bid, one that the client can compare like for like with your competitors. However, there is an incredible opportunity to not only identify cost and programme savings; but to provide alternative solutions that will enhance the project’s environmental performance and reduce risk to or enhance both your own and your clients’ reputations.

For example, using cutting-edge technology and innovative practices to elevate environmental performance – such as interactive GIS to highlight risk areas and store the most recent RAMS. Explore the use of drones or scent dogs for more efficient surveys of protected species. Utilise sustainable building materials and waste management practices. Evaluate client-provided mitigation measures for potential improvements. Any of these could be the one thing that distinguishes your tender from rest.


4. Document your process: Continual learning

While each site will offer myriad of environmental challenges and how they interact, there are themes associated with each factor. Assessing the bid at the end of the construction phase allows you to feed back into the next tender opportunity. Did the solution work? Was it under or overvalued? Did the client react especially well to a solution? Building up a repository of solutions can enhance the efficiency of your tender process. This will serve as proof of your commitment and help identify areas for future improvement.


5. Communicate clearly: For the win

While submitting a compliant bid is essential, find a way to convey your innovative or alternative solutions to stand out – make the game work for you. Use loaded technical queries to even the playing field, or if you have a commercially advantageous proposition, submit a well-reasoned, cost-effective alternative.

Leverage environmental management as a strategic tool. It can raise questions about the feasibility of your competitors' bids – they say they can do X when you have shown that it will take Y. Show that you are not only proactive about environmental concerns but also mindful of the reputational impacts for both your client and your company.


Reducing risks and enhancing efficiency

By prioritising environmental performance, you're not just making an ethical statement; you're also reducing risks to your project's timeline and budget. Early environmental planning is more cost-effective than you might think. Instead of defaulting to standard methods like hay bales and silt fencing, which can lead to environmental risks and unexpected costs, a comprehensive pollution management strategy demonstrates a commitment to safeguarding your client's reputation and offers long-term cost efficiency.

Environmental considerations often uncover and address potential issues early, allowing for smoother project execution and fewer unexpected, costly complications. For example, weighing the regulatory nuances of installing a culvert versus constructing a minor bridge can reveal surprising efficiencies. Choosing a bridge may initially seem costlier, but it can save significant time, up to six weeks, in the project timeline and demonstrates a commitment to minimal environmental impact, balancing efficiency with sustainable practices.

Emphasising environmental performance in your construction projects offers long-term benefits. A win-win for all. It not only enhances your reputation as a responsible and innovative company but also contributes to a more sustainable industry. The construction industry is evolving, and sustainable construction is now a mainstream expectation. Clients are increasingly looking for partners who can demonstrate a real commitment to the environment, making this an investment in your future success.


Embrace our call to action and aspire to deliver environmental excellence

An unprecedented spend in the energy infrastructure sector has already begun. One example includes the recent announcement by SP Energy Networks unveiling £5.4bn worth of contract opportunities to boost investment in the development of our energy grids. Environmental compliance shouldn't be seen as a hurdle but as a competitive advantage. By incorporating these strategies into your tenders, you’ll be demonstrating foresight, efficiency, and a commitment to sustainability, setting you well apart from your competitors.

For those who are ready to take this step, Naturally Compliant is here to partner with you, ensuring that your environmental goals are not just met but become a hallmark of your construction excellence. And, even if you're not looking for consultancy services right now, consider how rethinking your approach to environmental performance can revolutionise your construction projects. It's about building a legacy that goes beyond the physical structures – a legacy of sustainability, efficiency, and innovation.

In the evolving world of construction, those who lead with environmental performance don't just build projects; they build the future.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch.


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