Civils and stations

07.06.07

Metronet demonstrates improved environmental performance with new CEEQUAL plans

To mark World Environment Day, Metronet Rail has announced that three new embankment stabilisation projects are to take part in CEEQUAL (the Civil Engineering Environment Quality Assessment and Awards scheme).

Metronet, responsible for the renewal of two-thirds of London's Tube, aims for high environmental standards by benchmarking their environmental performance with CEEQUAL, and has now applied for three new whole project awards for cutting/embankment stabilisation projects at Acton Town, Hanger Lane and Hillingdon.

CEEQUAL is an awards scheme assessing the environmental quality of civil engineering projects. The objective is to encourage the attainment of environmental excellence in civil engineering projects, and thus to deliver improved environmental performance in project specification, design and construction.

This follows on from previous success, where Metronet was the first railway organisation to have work assessed by CEEQUAL for existing sites. The Channel Tunnel Rail Link was the first railway organisation to use the awards scheme for a new build project. Metronet took on the challenge for existing sites and builds, making it the first to do so, gaining their first CEEQUAL Award for the stabilisation of Snaresbrook embankment in 2005.

CEEQUAL uses a rigorous points-scoring-based assessment, which is applicable to any civil engineering project. It includes environmental aspects such as the use of water, energy and land as well as ecology, landscape, nuisance to neighbours, archaeology, waste minimisation and management, and community amenity.

Fiona McDonald, Senior Environment Advisor at Metronet said: “Staff and customers alike want to know that we are behaving responsibly.

“Each assessment involves about 150 questions in 10 sections. An environmental professional assesses and scores the project as it progresses and once complete CEEQUAL sends an independent verifier to check the score.”

She added: “Project teams are keen to show their commitment to environmental protection from the start. Being aware of areas for improvement, and applying the principles of CEEQUAL early on projects like the Acton Town cutting stabilisation, has allowed us to identify where environmental improvements (and increases in scores!) can be made.”

A CEEQUAL award publicly recognises the achievement of high environmental performance. Awards are made to projects in which the clients, designers and contractors go beyond the legal and environmental minima to achieve distinctive environmental standards of performance.

Furthermore, CEEQUAL is becoming further embedded, with many of the CEEQUAL principles being integrated in to Metronets environmental procedures. In the long term Metronet is also working to develop a version of CEEQUAL that is applicable in long-term contracts, as until now assessments have been done on a project by project basis. This summer Metronet hope to be the first organisation to win such an award.

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

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