Wake up to Wildlife Week
12 September 2016
A week-long focus on wildlife and the environment gets underway on September 12 as Costain ensures staff are aware of the responsibilities facing the Company in this increasingly important area.
Wildlife Week aims to demonstrate the importance of biodiversity and the positive impact that the Company can have on it by bringing together employees, partners and stakeholders.
The long-term goal, set out in our sustainability strategy, ‘Engineering A Sustainable Tomorrow’, said Infrastructure Environment Manager Geraint Rowland, is that by 2025 all Costain projects should have a net positive effect on biodiversity.
With this in mind, Wildlife Week has two main targets:
- all projects should review their Biodiversity Action Plans – sites should have one in place by the end of the year – with a challenge to do one thing on-site to improve biodiversity ;
- and to get staff volunteering in events organised by the Wildlife Trust, one of Costain’s chosen charities for 2016, or by other local environmental organisations.
Costain wants to ensure that Biodiversity Action Plans are in place that detail how individual sites are going to implement measures that put the Company on the path to its 2025 target.
It is also important that Costain’s plans in this sector are aligned with those of major clients, such as Highways England, Network Rail and National Grid, said Geraint.
Each site’s Biodiversity Action Plan should establish targets and provide guidance on how to provide habitats for fauna and flora, as well as protecting existing habitats. The plan should also provide the method and means to monitor, measure and report on its progress.
To help the onsite teams, Safety, Health and Environment (SHE) staff will run sessions to identify areas where the site’s biodiversity can be improved and whether the new biodiversity toolkit can be applied to help achieve that.
The toolkit includes a Biodiversity Unit Calculator, a means of calculating any damage to the environment that is unavoidably caused by a new road, for example, expressing that damage in a quantity of units, then calculating how much work has to be done to compensate.
There will also be an introductory presentation and briefing, examples of environmental best practice, plus procedures and tools that slot into The Costain Way, the Company’s risk-based management system.
Linking employee volunteering to the week is helping to meet one of Costain’s other sustainability priorities for 2016, ‘Hour Pledge’ the campaign to donate 10,000 hours of employees working time to good causes in 2016. Wildlife Week will be encouraging personnel to use the two days of volunteering time available each year to all staff members to work with a local nature charity or school to improve the environment.
Here, the SHE team can establish a link with a local organisation to develop a volunteering event. There are also established links with the Wildlife Trust through a consultancy framework agreement.
Costain Communications Department