Environmental management systems

The NSW Government environmental management system guidelines (edition 3 - August 2013) were developed to facilitate the achievement of improved environmental performance by the construction industry.

Acceptable environmental management systems

Contractors seeking to work on major projects (all projects of $10 million or more and projects under $10 million if they are environmentally sensitive) will need to have an acceptable corporate environment management system (EMS). Corporate environmental management systems must comply with the documentation requirements of AS/NZS 14001:2004 Environmental management systems.

This system documentation requirement does not require formal JAS-ANZ certification of the system as a whole, but such certification will be accepted as evidence of compliance with the system documentation requirements.

Corporate environmental management systems must contain procedures which will ensure compliance with Environmental Legislation and other relevant legislation.

Corporate environmental management systems accredited in accordance with the NSW Government environmental management systems guidelines edition 2 will be deemed to be acceptable for three years after the date of accreditation.

Contractors which have been subject to any environmental prosecutions or penalties in the preceding three years will, in addition, be required to demonstrate, by means of audit, management review or submission of corrective action and system change information, that any shortcomings in their system have been effectively remedied.

Evidence of acceptability

 Agencies may accept a corporate environmental management system if they are provided with:

  • Evidence that the corporate environmental management system was accredited in accordance with the NSW Government environmental management systems guidelines edition 2 within the preceding three year period;  or
  • An audit report by an approved assessor attesting that the corporate environmental management system:
    • complies with the documentation requirements of AS/NZS 14001:2004 Environmental management systems;
    • appropriately comprehends all current environmental legislation and other environmental requirements;  and
    • includes requirements for audit, by an approved assessor independent of the contractor, of compliance, currency and effective implementation at intervals of not less than three years.

Approved assessor means a person certified by a JAS-ANZ personnel certifier such as RABQSA or equivalent, as a principal, lead or business improvement auditor, or, an employee of an agency approved by the agency as having the requisite competencies which may include:

  • successful completion of training, similar in duration and content to the management system audit course conducted by RABQSA or equivalent
  • TAFE or similar formal attainment

An agency may, at its discretion, accept an assessment of an approved assessor who is not certified by a JAS-ANZ personnel certifier, such as RABQSA or equivalent, but who has been approved by another agency.

The contractor must provide:

  1. a statement confirming the contractor is not in default of any fine issued for a breach of environmental laws;
  2. details of all environmental prosecutions/fines imposed on the contractor in Australia and a description of the actions taken in response to each prosecution/fine, or a statement that the contractor has not incurred prosecutions/fines.