A ground breaking initiative designed to improve the environmental performance of the construction industry in Northern Ireland was launched this week by Environment Minister Alex Attwood.

NVIR-O-CERT is an environmental management system tailored to meet the needs of the construction sector. It has been developed by the Construction Employers Federation (CEF) with the support of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) and the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA). The new system will require participating companies to commit to continual environmental improvement.

Speaking at the launch the Minister said, “Building and civil engineering projects have a major impact on the environment through waste produced, energy used and the risk of damage to our natural habitats and watercourses. This impact must be carefully managed to ensure that future generations can benefit from a high quality natural environment alongside a high quality built environment. Many local construction companies already take their environmental responsibilities very seriously. They also acknowledge that effective environmental management can result in significant business benefits. However, NVIR-O-CERT will provide an important focus for companies wanting to improve their performance; it has the potential to raise the standards of environmental management right across the industry, from the largest to the smallest business.”

He continued, “I commend the Federation for taking the lead in this initiative and look forward to continued improvement in environmental management from the local construction sector.”

NVIR-O-CERT is initially being launched in Northern Ireland, however the CEF is working with its sister organisation in the Republic of Ireland, the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) to clean up and extend the scheme across the island of Ireland.

For more information, see the:

  • Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (Northern Ireland) SR 2007/291.