The role of the Environmental Clerk of Works

Dave Sargent is JBA’s Lead for Construction, Environmental Management and Environmental Clerk of Works. For over a year now, Dave has also been on the management committee of the Association of Environmental Clerks of Works (AECoW). But what does the role of the Environmental Clerk of Works (EnvCoW) involve and why is it so important? Read on to find out more.

The Environmental Clerk of Works plays a vital part in the environmental compliance of any construction, development or engineering project. It is, however, the final stage in a compliance process which begins during the early design stages of the project. Construction Environmental Management is not constrained to the construction stage only.

But what does the role involve? An EnvCoW can be any discipline, but AECoW clarify:

An independent environmental or construction professional with direct responsibility for monitoring and reporting on compliance with planning consents, environmental permits, legislation and mitigation.  AECoW

Being an EnvCoW means maintaining independence and requires a comprehensive knowledge of a variety of environmental aspects along with a skill set to match a site’s particular environmental sensitivities. Some projects may have Landscape Clerk of Works, or Heritage and Archaeology experts.

It is important to distinguish an EnvCoW from an Ecological Clerk of Works (ECoW). The term ECoW is widely used in the industry and can often encompass a variety of intended roles and responsibilities. An ECoW provides on-site practical ecology support, whereas an EnvCoW focuses primarily on compliance. The AECoW has recently finalised its position on the role of an EnvCoW following consultation with CIEEM, IEMA, the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) and the Regulatory and Planning Working Group which can be viewed here.

What is an Environmental Clerk of Works?Construction Environmental Management Services at JBA

Dave has nearly 30 years of experience in successful Environmental Management in the construction industry. He has a background in agriculture, nature conservation, landscape design and ecology, and is the lead Environmental Clerk of Works on JBA’s framework with the Environment Agency (EA). The team of EA approved Environmental Clerk of Works are providing on-site supervision on multiple flood relief schemes throughout the north of England with sites ranging from pumping station refurbishment to flood embankments to in-channel control structures.

Within JBA we have a broad based construction environmental compliance team providing not only EnvCoW and ECoW services to the public and private sector, throughout the UK, but also tailored construction environmental management and compliance advice to our design and build joint ventures.

Want to know more?

Email Dave Sargent for more information about our Construction and Environmental Management services including EnvCoW in its broadest remit.

Read more from Dave in his recent article published by CIEEM ‘In Practice’ and shared here with the kind permission of CIEEM.  Click here: Dave Sargent_InPractice115_Mar2022-6

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