Construction Best Practices

Increase Your Environmental Compliance through Smarter Systems and Software Solutions


Crane Holding Building Wrapped in Vine
Staying on top of environmental compliance issues is vital for contractors as new rules and requirements are rolled out.

As environmental awareness becomes an increasingly important social and political issue, we've seen a corresponding rise in the number of laws here in Australia that govern the construction industry. Not only is the regulatory framework detailed and complex, legislation is constantly changing, laws differ by state and even local councils have their own particular regulations and requirements.

The National Construction Code 2019, for example, lists new requirements for the types of materials that can be used, and there's growing pressure to incorporate further laws that will reduce energy consumption by utilising insulation, increasing shade and incorporating more green space. There are also more stringent reporting demands and greater penalties for environmental breaches. Across all Australian States, a serious Tier 1 breach can incur a million-dollar penalty for companies, with individuals facing a penalty up to $500,000 and/or a five-year jail term in addition to the responsibility for remedial work. Importantly, ignorance of legislation, or accidental non- compliance, is not a defence, which is evident by the NSW EPA achieving a 96% success rate in 2018 prosecution cases.

Implementing an Environmental Management System

Person Drawing Diagram of EMS System on Clear Surface
Creating a comprehensive environmental management system (EMS) provides your company with a framework and processes for ensuring compliance.

These added pressures make it more important than ever that you reduce risk by implementing a comprehensive Environmental Management System (EMS). Not only will this allow you to plan your projects through a lens of environmental responsibility, it will also provide the necessary framework to implement checks and balances into every stage of your construction process.

An effective EMS lets contractors proactively manage both current and future environmental impacts their work creates. To best measure these impacts and achieve success EMS plans should include:

  • Means to identify the environmental impacts of your business
  • Measurable environmental objectives and targets, in line with your business plan goals
  • Operational and emergency procedures related to environmental matters
  • Outlined responsibilities and a clearly-defined reporting structure
  • Procedures to identify areas for ongoing improvement

Leveraging Modern Construction Software to Ensure EMS Success

Man Sitting at Desk With Jobpac on Computer Screens
Having the latest integrated construction software, like Viewpoint's JobPac Connect, can streamline workflows around EMS planning.

Of course, any effective management system relies on quality data feeding into it, and there's no better way to achieve this than by embracing a comprehensive and connected construction management software solution. Through broad-based and in-depth capabilities, a modern construction solution allows you to list all objectives and procedures from the outset. New laws can be quickly incorporated into your company’s operational procedures and detailed responsibilities can be allocated to the most relevant people.

With the added advantage of cloud-based technology, accurate information can be centrally located, and easily accessed from any location. Both macro and micro environmental obligations are visible to everyone — from waste management subcontractors through to certifiers and head office — and onsite information can be shared and supported by images of work in progress.

A comprehensive Environmental Management Plan that's driven by accurate and current data can also dramatically boost your efficiency. Reporting becomes faster, obtaining permits and licenses become easier and you keep your project moving at a pace that meets your deadlines and protects your profits.

Manage your risk and increase your efficiency through a capable and comprehensive construction ERP solution. You'll be helping the planet — and your business.

Find out how the right software solution can help you modernise your construction process and become an environmentally-friendly contractor. Contact Viewpoint today.

Posted By

Jonathan is a writer based in Sydney, Australia.