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Small construction firmsí lack of awareness of legislation is cause for concern says Survey

According to a recent NetRegs survey, levels of environmental awareness in smaller construction comp

Release date: 03/12/2007

When surveyed, 85% of UK construction businesses did not think that they undertook activities that could cause harm to the environment. However, when prompted with a list of activities that are potentially harmful to the environment, 39% stated they undertook at least one of them. The most common were producing or importing packaging (41%) and storing waste (33%).

In addition, more than half the businesses admitted they hadn't introduced any practical measures to reduce environmental harm, and of those that had, only 17% had looked at waste minimisation.

Alan Parnell, NetRegs advisor at SEPA said: "By better understanding what constitutes waste, by taking the correct steps to improve environmental practice, construction businesses can avoid prosecution and could benefit commercially.

"Good environmental practice is good business practice and can improve customer relations. Many larger companies and local councils may ask for Site Waste Management Plans (SWMP) in tenders.

"Waste materials produced by business or within the workplace are already regulated by law through Duty of Care requirements. It is important that construction businesses understand their legal obligations with regard to the management and handling of site waste."

Businesses that are concerned about whether they meet legislation can visit the NetRegs site and undertake a short quiz to find out what they should be doing to meet forthcoming and current legislation www.netregs.gov.uk.

GBN will be running a CIWM Waste Awareness Certificate Construction Special on 4 February 2008 that aims to educate smaller construction businesses about the new site waste management plans along with raising general awareness about waste issues. For more information and bookings, visit the seminars section of the GBN website.

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