Why Conduct an Environmental Impact Assessment?
An environmental impact assessment is performed, as its name suggests, in order to identify and evaluate the potential impacts upon the environment at the decision making stage before work commences or operations are altered. By conducting the impact assessment at the outset, potential problems can be considered and changes can be made to mitigate them before a lot of time and money has been spent and wasted getting to that point.
Just as it is with regards to health and safety and indeed numerous other aspects of life, thorough planning and prevention is far more preferable than having to deal with the aftermath and consequences of an accident or an event which does not unfold as planned. Not only can this be preferable in terms of life and death if it is a health and safety issue, but is also highly beneficial from a financial viewpoint as the amount of money which needs to be spent in performing the environmental impact assessment and making the modifications recommended by its conclusions is often far less than would need to be spent on items such as clean-up costs, compensation payouts and regulatory fines for breaches of environmental or health and safety regulations.
Companies and organisations are increasingly seeing the benefit of having managers and a workforce who have received environmental training and achieved qualifications like the NEBOSH Environmental Certificate so that they can have a far greater awareness of the potential impacts of their actions upon the environment, not to mention reducing the chances of an accident or disaster occurring when this training is combined with the introduction and effective monitoring of comprehensive and robust procedures and control measures.