- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 28 Feb 2018
BREEAM Environmental management
 Aim and benefits
To encourage contractors, or the use of contractors, who operate environmental management systems and to ensure that their sites are managed in an environmentally responsible manner; implementing best practice pollution prevention policies and procedures.
 When to consider
This issue should be considered prior to the appointment/ selection of the contractor so that the requirement for the principal contractor to operate an environmental management system (EMS) can be included within the tender documents.
 Step by step guidance
At pre-assessment stage, the size, value and complexity of the project may have a bearing on whether the client wishes to target this issue. It should be ascertained whether the client would prefer not to limit the tendering process to those contractors holding EMS on simple buildings, where the use of a local, smaller builder (less likely to operate an EMS) may be more appropriate.
Where the principal contractor is not appointed at design stage, a commitment to appoint a contractor who operates an EMS such as ISO 14001 for their main construction operations and a requirement for the contractor to implement best practice pollution prevention policies and procedures on site in accordance with Pollution Prevention Guidelines, working at construction and demolition sites: PPG6 should be included within the tender contract documentation or within a formal letter of commitment from the client.
Once appointed, the principal contractor should provide a copy of their EMS certification or, for BS 8555 - evidence of their status such as copies of their phase one to four audits.
The contractor should provide relevant sections of their environmental management procedures manual to show that they have company policies in place. They should also maintain records to evidence the procedures in place on site were implemented. This could be in the form of drainage plans to show that the temporary site drainage was connected up correctly and that existing surface water gullies are protected from site pollution e.g. concrete washing out takes place away from the area. Site plans could be provided to show the location for the storage of hazardous liquids and fuels and photographic records kept to show that it was stored in double bunded tanks with spill kits to hand. The contractor should be made aware of the records required to be kept for the specific site prior to commencing on site.
 Questions to ask while seeking compliance
Does the contractor operate an EMS system?
Construction and demolition sites, PPG6: prevention pollution provides guidance on how to prevent pollution and comply with environmental law at construction and demolition sites. This publication was withdrawn from use by the EA in December 2015 as the EA no longer provides "good practice" guidance. A copy can still be found on the national archives on the link below:
More information and an introduction to environmental management systems can be found at the link below:
Tips and best practice
It should be noted that for Healthcare projects, it is a pre-requisite that the principal contractor operate an EMS system.
Generally, principal contractors will hold third party certification to ISO 14001. However, small to medium contractors may opt for a more manageable staged approach to environmental management. To be compliant, the contractor must have completed the phased audit stages one to four and provide evidence to this effect.
 Tips and best practice
 Typical evidence
 Design Stage
Design stage evidence can be awarded based on contract clauses/specifications to show a commitment by the client/developer to appoint a principal contractor who will operate EMS and follow best practice pollution prevention policies and procedures. Where the contractor is selected, they should provide a copy of their EMS certification.
 Post Construction Stage
To show compliance with PPG 6, the contractor should provide a letter or report covering any actions completed together with supporting photographic evidence. They could also use drawings, company policies and method statements to show that works have been carried out and managed in an appropriate manner.
 Applicable Schemes
The guidelines collated in this ISD aim to support sustainable best practice in the topic described. This issue may apply in multiple BREEAM schemes covering different stages in the life of a building, different building types and different year versions. Some content may be generic but scheme nuances should also be taken into account. Refer to the comments below and related articles to this one to understand these nuances. See this document for further guidelines.
- List applicable schemes here
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