Environmental management and policy

Chartered surveyors practise in an increasingly environmentally conscious world, so they need to be aware of the structure of environmental law under which they operate.

While many surveyors will operate within environmental legal frameworks relating to the development process, others will work more directly on the environmental management of a site or a building, perhaps alongside other responsibilities.

Having an environmental management system (EMS) in place is not essential, although many organisations have voluntarily achieved ISO 14001, the international environmental management standard. However, organisations will be strictly liable for most pollution incidents they cause, so having an EMS would help them identify significant environmental risks and appropriate obligations, including legal duties, to ensure controls are in place for themselves and their contractors to prevent such incidents.

Environmental management can also offer benefits such as maintaining property value, saving on costs and generating positive publicity. EMSs can be integrated with quality management and occupational health and safety management (often referred to as integrated management systems) as well.

This section is maintained by Faith Johnson, Managing Director of the Environmental Quality Mark Community Interest Company, and Mharry Stanley, Senior Health, Safety and Environment Manager of Engie UK & Ireland.