The Environment Agency employs a comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment process to ensure its construction activities deliver the best for the environment. This is complemented by a procurement Sustainability Construction Risk Assessment which aims to ensure that sustainability issues are considered at the outset, in the project plan, the design and the specification. This ensures that where possible the materials used are recycled and/or locally sourced.
The Government’s policy, as set out in their response to “Making Space for Water”, is to adopt a more sustainable approach to flood risk management, moving to a wider portfolio of responses including greater use of rural land-use solutions. In that context, the recent inquiry into the 2007 flooding, chaired by Sir Michael Pitt, has concluded that DEFRA, the Environment Agency and Natural England should work with partners to establish a programme and framework to achieve greater working with natural processes.