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Seamlessly integrate environmental responsibility without blowing your programme and budget

There are multiple complexities involved in environmental management on construction sites. Situations where the working environment is out of your control, such as the weather or the presence of migratory protected species, are common stumbling blocks that can impact programme and budget. And in our experience, consultancies such as ours are typically brought in after the problem is encountered. There will always be a solution, but at this stage it’s often too late to save your schedule and prevent a budget blowout. 

 

Proactively manage environmental risks to avoid crisis mode

The most challenging issues on construction projects generally revolve around the things you can’t control and the unknown unknowns. Water management and pollution control is a significant challenge because a project can’t control when, where, or how much water will fall from the sky. There's also the issue of discovering previously unidentified protected species, which can bring a project to a grinding halt.


Impact Assessments and preconstruction information are good, but they aren’t infallible. They can also be incredibly complex, and things can be easily missed. For example, finding previously unidentified invasive non-native species, or an area of contaminated land can cause significant issues for what was, in theory, a relatively straightforward project.


This usually results in a mix of crisis management and consultation with the experts. Each problem will be unique and require a solution that's both compliant and minimally disruptive to the project timeline. It's always a bit of a scramble and it's far from ideal.


Environmental crises are often avoidable with proactive management. Our consultancy services can help you anticipate and mitigate risks before they escalate, saving you time and costly last-minute solutions.

 

Achieve a sustainable balance between environmental responsibility and budget

Balancing environmental responsibility with budget and programme constraints is one of the most challenging elements for a project. It’s a constant tug-of-war. On one hand, there’s the ethical and regulatory imperative to protect the environment. On the other, there’s the very real pressure to keep projects on time and on budget.


Getting the bid programme and budget right at the start goes a long way. Understanding the commitments, desired outcomes, and contractual requirements, and feeding this into the bid will mitigate a lot of the risk. However, because of the commercial competition, should your competitor not include appropriate time or money, your bid runs the risk of not being competitive – the process can often feel like walking a tightrope.


For example, we recently engaged with a contractor who had provided a fixed price for a project, based on the provided “outline” pollution prevention measures for determining their costs. The measures outlined were not aligned with industry good practice and were neither site nor method specific. Nonetheless, these were the strategies provided by the client, and any deviation might have led to an unsuccessful tender.


When the rains came, the measures failed leading to a pollution event, which was duly reported to both the regulatory authority and the client. The onus for clean-up fell on the contractor, as it is ultimately their duty to adhere to relevant laws. The project’s client highlighted that the measures were only a basic framework of controls, and that the contractor should have adapted them to suit the project.


Providing a solution mid-way through the project turned out to be significantly more costly and time-consuming than getting it right at the start. This increased the pressure on the project team, as the additional costs had to be absorbed by the project’s profit or found somewhere else, potentially compromising standards elsewhere in the project.

 

Lessons learned: The value of proactive management for long-term success

The complexities associated with environmental management can’t be underestimated. But a project rarely gets to construction without a comprehensive environmental impact assessment, these aren't just about ticking regulatory boxes; they provide an incredible source of knowledge on project specific environmental risk. Proactively using Impact Assessment and letting environmental methods and controls influence design will reduce risk and give you a stronger regulatory position should something go wrong. Partnering with a consultancy, like Naturally Compliant, that specialises in these kinds of challenges, and planning for potential issues from the outset, not only mitigates immediate risks but also builds a robust strategy that stands up to regulatory and stakeholder scrutiny.


In the scenario above, retrofitting pollution control measures and increasing treatment systems were effective at the time. But they were far from perfect, and in the long-term may have merely deferred the problems rather than solving them. And they came at a hefty cost – in time and money.

 

Tailored solutions and the right resources are invaluable

A dedicated environmental management consultancy, like Naturally Compliant, involved from the start, at the tender phase, is invaluable.


Higher environmental weightings during the tender process means there's an unprecedented opportunity to make environmental management your competitive edge. To customise your tender responses, we help you to understand your client's concerns, and identify and mitigate areas of risk. This helps to establish yourself as a proactive partner in managing environmental responsibilities.

 

 

Anticipating potential issues and advising on best practices for mitigating them, facilitates better planning and more accurate budget allocation. And we use specialised software for environmental management to streamline the monitoring and reporting processes, making it easier for you to stay compliant and keep stakeholders informed.

 

A collaborative partnership for ongoing support and success

At Naturally Compliant, we’re not just offering our expertise and piecemeal solutions. We’re offering a collaboration, where we work alongside you throughout the project lifecycle. We aren’t just another bureaucratic layer that slows down your project. We prefer to be integrated into the project where we are available to follow-through on our advice and provide ongoing support to avoid unnecessary crisis points.


Our collaborative approach means we're more than just a consultancy; we're your partners in navigating the complex landscape of stakeholder expectations and regulatory requirements. Our tailored solutions and ongoing support aim to alleviate the pressures you face, allowing you to focus on what you do best.

 

What next?

Ready to transform your approach to environmental management? Let's collaborate to not only solve your immediate challenges but also help you achieve your ultimate goal of responsible stewardship for future generations. Contact us for a consultation today.




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