As Australians are becoming more concerned about environmental sustainability, new laws and regulations can be confusing for small business owners. One way to ensure that your business is operating in compliance with the law is to hire an environmental contracting firm to help you understand permit requirements, meet regulation standards, identify ways to reduce liability, and, if necessary, carry out contamination remediation.
However, even though environmental contracting is a $12 billion industry, it’s largely comprised of small and medium firms, in fact, the largest 50 firms only account for around 30% of the total revenue. With so many companies to choose from, these tips can help you find the right environmental contractor for your business.
Specialization and Experience
Many environmental contractors market themselves as a “one-stop shop” for all of your business’s environmental needs. But all of them may not be as versatile as they claim. If your needs are specialized in any way, make sure to inquire whether the contractor has any actual experience in your area. With so many choices, it’s better to go with a firm that’s proven its ability.
Environmental regulations vary by state, and sometimes even by county, so if you’re considering an out-of-state environmental contractor, make sure to ask whether the firm is familiar with your local requirements. It may be helpful to find out whether it has done any work in your area before.
Some laws require environmental contractors to obtain specific credentials in order to be eligible for signing off on permit applications, cleaning up contaminated sites, or performing other specialized tasks. Commonly required credentials are those of the Professional Engineer (PE) and Certified Professional (CP), among others. Before hiring a contractor, make sure that the firm has the appropriate certifications for your needs.
Since environmental contractors are often hired to help businesses ensure legal compliance, the stakes for their performance are high. Mistakes or lack of diligence can result in fines or loss of income due to a temporary or permanent suspension of a business’ operations. It is important to find out whether the contractor has insurance to offset these costs in the event of an error. Additionally, if the firm is employing anyone to perform potentially hazardous duties, such as remediation of a contaminated site, it needs to have liability insurance for all of those involved.
Although some environmental contractors may not be willing to provide the names of previous clients because of privacy concerns, it doesn’t hurt to ask for references. Nothing gives peace of mind like hearing a satisfied client’s experience.
Navigating environmental rules and regulations can be overwhelming, but choosing the right contractor to assist your business shouldn’t be an additional source of stress. These tips can help you understand what to look for in a contractor so that you can be confident that you’re making an informed decision.