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Electrical sector sees commercial benefits from environmental focus

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Forthcoming environmental legislation, such as the revised Part L of the Building Regulations and the Hazardous Waste Regulations, has a direct impact on building service contractors. But the ECA has issued a statement pointing out that those who develop environmental ‘know-how’ are likely to turn the challenges into business opportunities.

“Despite the new challenges, improving environmental performance can open the door to significant commercial opportunities,” said Paul Reeve, HS&E advisor at the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA). “Delegates at a recent environmental workshop held by ECA concluded that having environmental ‘know-how’ about energy efficiency and waste management will help win tenders and put clear water between reputable contractors and the ‘cowboys’.” Beyond operational benefits some E&M contractors see huge potential for environmentally friendly design and build.

Although complying with the new regulations can add costs, contractors who offer services that help clients deal with the new rules could find it easier to secure tenders and add value to their contracts.

According to Reeve: “Contractors have realised the commercial benefits of good health and safety performance when it comes to pre-qualification. We should expect clients to start seeing a contractor’s environmental credentials in the same way that they see safety, where clients look for assurance that the contractor can control the job and avoid surprises.”

ECA is working closely with the Environment Agency and with government programmes such as ‘Envirowise’. Envirowise offers contractors a free environmental ‘health check’, which includes demonstrating how improvements in resource and energy use plus waste reduction offers immediate cost benefits.

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