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Environmental Management Systems in Construction (ISO 14001)2022-02-28T17:34:21+00:00

Environmental Management Systems in Construction
(ISO 14001)

As environmental concerns and requirements increasingly come to the fore, a growing number of organisations seek to improve environmental performance. In this sense, Environmental Management Systems represent tools of huge potential, both for organisations and the construction of buildings, allowing companies to minimise environmental impact and ensure legal compliance.

The implementation of an Environmental Management System based on the ISO 14001 Standard requires the definition of an environmental policy, as well as a series of objectives and goals, which must be monitored and measured in order to determine the environmental performance of the organisation. The main aspects to be considered include the following:

  • Environmental protection, by minimising the negative impact of activities on the environment (e.g. harmful effects on air, water or soils);
  • Mitigation of risks to the organisation resulting from significant environmental issues, as well as other issues that may impact the organisation with regard to environmental matters;
  • Compliance with applicable requirements, including legal, regulatory and any other requirements deemed important by the organisation;
  • Continuous improvement of environmental performance, by promoting efficient resource use, waste reduction (gases, wastewater, other waste) and implementing an internal environmental strategy, which will translate into financial and operational benefits;
  • Communication of environmental and performance information to stakeholders, in order to build trust and promote confidence.

The construction sector is currently one of the largest consumers of non-renewable resources and one of the biggest waste producers. Moreover, construction materials manufacturing accounts for a considerable part of the sector’s impact, as is the case of global warming.

A large number of opportunities can be identified in this sector, not only to reduce impact but also to secure competitive advantages, owing to the measures adopted in the areas of energy efficiency, waste management, water consumption and pollution, which result in cost reductions and earn companies a better reputation within the surrounding communities.

The implementation of an Environmental Management System (ISO 14001) is based on the PDCA model (Planning, Doing, Checking and Acting) and involves the following stages:

Stage I – Identification of the environmental practices to be implemented and definition of the actions/measures to be adopted in order to ensure compliance with applicable requirements;

Stage II – Implementation of the actions/measures defined, in order to ensure compliance with applicable requirements;

Stage III – Implementation of control and monitoring procedures and conduction of internal audits, such as to assess the implementation of the actions/measures initially proposed and compliance with regulatory requirements;

Stage IV – Definition and implementation of corrective action plans/measures, in order to resolve any issues identified;

Stage V – Monitoring of the certification process.

Engexpor employs qualified, multidisciplinary teams, with vast know-how, to help construction sector organisations define and implement Environmental Management Systems, both for the organisation and individual building works, in addition to providing assistance with the certification process.