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Environmental Awareness in Construction

Posted on Friday, 25th October 2019

Environmental Awareness in Construction

Environmental issues are of a great importance, especially to those who work within the construction and built environment!

Construction projects around the world are having a significant impact on our environment, on a local and global scale. Each stage of the construction process has a measurable impact. Regardless of the location, size or purpose of your construction project, environmental impacts are inevitable; they run the risk of affecting nature, the built environment and your surrounding neighbours. Impacts can range from noise to pollution, wildlife to flora and fauna. In this week’s blog, we take a look at the construction industry’s negative effect, and the training available which can help you manage this impact on the environment.

Construction’s impact on the environment

Climate change experts believe that the Earth is rapidly getting warmer, and that we are all playing a significant role in speeding up this process. Construction firms contribute to this mostly with carbon dioxide emissions. Carbon dioxide is a gaseous product of burning fossil fuels such as gas and diesel. Once trapped in our atmosphere, this creates the ‘greenhouse’ effect and warms the earth over a long period of time. Heavy machinery in mining projects extract raw materials for use in construction projects, for instance the global cement industry contributes roughly 5% of global carbon dioxide emissions.

However, on a local scale, construction projects can have quite a significant impact on the local environment and its nature, such as water pollution on construction building sites, including diesel and other fossil fuels, paint/solvents and toxic chemicals. Minor chemical spills can leak into the ground and there is chance they could enter waterways where they could toxify the water and harm aquatic life. If we look at the actual buildings that are being constructed around the world, it’s estimated that the daily operation of building accounts for 40% of the total energy usage worldwide.

Reducing the environmental effects on construction sites requires a collaborative effort, so it’s really important for supervisors and managers of construction sites to have a good understanding and awareness of how to help protect the environment.

construction image at sunset

What is SEATS training and who needs it?

SEATS training, also known as the ‘CITB Site Environmental Awareness Training Scheme’ is designed for site supervisors and site managers, to give them an introduction to environmental issues on construction sites. It has been developed to meet the basic environmental knowledge that the sub-contract chain is required to prove to major contractors.

This one-day classroom-based course will update the learner’s knowledge of the environment, as well as sustainability, providing an in-depth overview of the environmental impacts, appropriate legislation and what is considered as industry best practice.

SEATS training not only provides the basic knowledge required of the subcontract chain, but also covers the environmental aspects of the CITB Health, safety and environment (HS&E) test.

What does the SEATS course cover?

This CITB SEATS training will ensure that on completion, delegates are knowledgeable on:

  1. Why the environment is important
  2. Environmental management
  3. Ecologycitb logo
  4. Contaminated land
  5. Waste
  6. Pollution prevention and water management
  7. Good neighbour behaviour
  8. Protecting our heritage
  9. Energy and resources

Following this training course, site managers and supervisors will be able to understand what is required of them in order to manage their impact on the environment and why it is so important. 

They will also be able to:

  • understand the impact archaeology and heritage can have on a site and how to deal with it
  • identify the principles of the good neighbour initiative
  • appreciate the importance and need to be a responsible and considerate contractor
  • effective waste management
  • pollution controls, and why the environment should be protected
  • implement environmental management systems into the management of the site (EMS 14001)

Book SEATS training here >

 construction environmental image

Related environmental courses

Commercial and Industrial sites also can cause significant harm to the environment when a damaging spillage has occurred. ESS offer two courses that will provide training on how to correctly use a spill kit and also how you can train your own team!


SEATS training near me

ESS can offer bespoke training suited to your requirements or if you’re looking for SEATS training in a location near you, why not take a look at our online public course training calendar, to see if there’s a suitable course near you.

For more information, contact our training team here.

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