CEEQUAL is the world leading evidence-based sustainability assessment scheme for civil engineering projects.
CEEQUAL therefore exists to drive sustainability performance across the industry and is passionate about doing so. Our purpose is to work with our partners to improve standards in sustainability and contribute to the sustainable development agenda.
What is sustainability and why does it matter?
The most used sustainability definition is that of the 1987 United Nations Brundtland Commission. The Commission defined sustainability as “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations. In the present era of the “climate crisis”, it is widely accepted that climate change poses a rapidly increasing challenge, bringing many hazardous effects. Indeed, living more sustainably is crucial to maintaining and protecting our natural environments and their many ecosystems, alongside the numerous ecosystem services that they bring to society.
Sustainable development is therefore centered around the concept of ensuring that present day developments do not negatively impact the earth, both for us and for future generations.
What is CEEQUAL’s role in sustainability?
The three-pillar model of sustainable development seeks to balance the environmental, economic and social elements of sustainability – the three “pillars” – in order to achieve success in each. CEEQUAL complements this model by assessing the full sustainability credentials of projects and contracts, driving environmental, economic and social best practice to contribute to sustainable development.
CEEQUAL also supports the strategies of the UK Government and other Governments by providing the infrastructure professions and industry worldwide with an incentive and protocol for assessing, benchmarking and rating the sustainability performance of projects and contracts as part of the industry’s contribution to sustainable development.
As laid out in the CEEQUAL technical scheme’s, CEEQUAL encourages sustainability best practice across eight distinct categories. To learn more about these, explore the sections below.
The Management category considers how sustainability issues are incorporated into the overall management of the project. It covers the principles of sustainable development and the management of environmental and social performance throughout the planning, design and construction of a project.
This category encourages proactive hazard identification, risk evaluation and risk management for the asset and infrastructure system within which it sits. Issues including assessing and mitigating risks from natural hazards, intentional threats, and climate change plus designing for future needs. The section considers risks to the asset and its dependencies and consequently the required asset resilience. Specific environmental risks resulting from the asset’s construction and operation are covered separately in Pollution.
Communities and stakeholders
This category addresses issues regarding the wider social and economic effects of a project on local communities and other relevant stakeholders who might be impacted directly or indirectly by a project’s delivery or operation. It covers initial and subsequent engagement and consultation on the proposed project through inception, design and construction – and how it might impact on wider community issues – to maximise the wider social and economic benefits that a project can achieve.
Land use and ecology
This category promotes the reuse of previously disturbed land so minimising negative impacts on biodiversity and the natural environment generally. It promotes outcomes that enhance ecological value through protection and enhancement of habitat in support of biodiversity whilst also promoting the enhancement of associated social and health value wherever possible.
Landscape and historic environment
This category encourages consideration of the landscape and associated heritage features within and surrounding a project site. It aims to protect and enhance both landscape character and heritage assets where present. Aesthetic value and visual impact of a project are addressed as well as actions taken to protect and enhance the historic environment for the benefit of present and future generations.
This category promotes actions that address and minimise air, water and noise pollution resulting from the construction and operation of the asset. It focusses on carrying out risk assessments, developing and implementing appropriate mitigation strategies, and monitoring the effectiveness of the mitigation measures to maximise their outcomes.
This category promotes prudent and responsible use of all physical resources including materials, energy and water. It focuses on reducing whole life impacts from resource use by encouraging consideration of the environmental impacts of design, construction, and operation throughout the life of the asset. The category encourages users to evaluate resource use within the context of the circular economy, taking actions that are focused on reducing waste in accordance with the waste hierarchy.
This category encourages the effective management of transport impacts from all modes of transport both during construction and as operation impacts. Transport impacts considered include the movement of construction materials and waste, construction workforce transport, as well as disruption to other users of the transport network during the life of the asset. An emphasis is placed on designing out transport impacts wherever possible and consultation with the local community to create opportunities for an integrated transport system.
Learn more about CEEQUAL and sustainability
Learn more about how CEEQUAL works to drive sustainability performance by exploring the topics below.
CEEQUAL and the SDGs
Learn about the relationship between CEEQUAL and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
CEEQUAL and Sustainable Design
Learn how CEEQUAL helps drive sustainable design in the early stages of projects.
CEEQUAL and Sustainable Construction
Learn how CEEQUAL supports sustainable construction and engineering as projects come to life.
CEEQUAL and Sustainable Operation
Learn how CEEQUAL encourages sustainable operations once projects are complete.
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