Environmental and Social Impact Assessments

RSK are proud to work closely with our clients to help them meet their business objectives and develop new projects. One of the ways we achieve this is through the preparation of comprehensive environmental and social impact assessments (ESIAs) which are often required by regulators as part of the project approval process.

An ESIA predicts and assesses the potential environmental and social impacts of a proposed project, evaluates alternatives, and specifies appropriate mitigation measures. It demonstrates to all stakeholders that a systematic process for identifying, evaluating and managing the potential positive and negative impacts of a project are in place. We prepare ESIAs which provide our clients, regulatory authorities and project investors the confidence they need for the project to proceed.

RSK coordinates and prepares ESIAs of all sizes around the world. Our multidisciplinary team provides you with a single point of contact who will manage all aspects of preparing your ESIA. Our technical environmental and social specialists work closely together in optimising fieldwork. We work with project engineers to develop practical and effective mitigation measures, and provide integrated reports which consider the complex interactions between impacts.

A one-stop shop for your ESIA

At RSK, we have the experience and resources to provide a ‘one stop shop’ for the preparation of your ESIA. Our experienced project managers offer a pragmatic and realistic approach to ESIA development focused on helping you to achieve your aims. They draw together our in-house technical experts who provide the specialist knowledge required across all the relevant disciplines, including biodiversity, physical environment (air, noise, water), cultural heritage (of which archaeology is a part), socio-economic impact and stakeholder engagement.

Our team will help you document the baseline environment, describe existing trends, plan and execute field work to fill gaps in knowledge, plan and manage community and other stakeholder interactions, assist with assessing alternatives, systematically assess impacts, and identify mitigation measures which are appropriate to the impacts they seek to control, are practical to implement, and are cost-effective.

We support our clients every step of the way through the ESIA process, from project initiation and planning the first interaction with your stakeholders, to informing the public about the conclusions of the ESIA at public disclosure meetings.

UK and Global capability

RSK proudly offer our ESIA services both onshore and offshore, throughout the UK and internationally. Our UK team have intimate knowledge of the regulatory requirements within the UK, while our international team possess significant experience of preparing ESIAs to international best practice standards around the world including assuring compliance with the strict environmental and social performance standards / requirements developed by international finance institutions. We regularly work with clients seeking funding from, among others, the World Bank, International Finance Corporation (IFC), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), European Investment Bank (EIB), the Asian Development Bank, and the African Development Bank.

As a global organisation we have team members who have lived and worked all over the world, including in countries across Africa, the Former Soviet Union, the Middle East, Europe and Australasia. Our permanent staff members speak fluent English, Arabic, Azerbaijani, Dutch French, Italian, Kazakh, and Russian.

Our team works in collaboration with a trusted international network of associates and partner companies around the world, which enables us to successfully deliver projects in most locations in a way that meets both national legislative requirements and international standards. Our network enables us to rapidly mobilise skilled teams, providing clients with the resources they need to deliver large and challenging projects effectively, on budget, and on time.

Transferable skills

The skills of our ESIA team are readily transferable to projects of all sizes, within any industrial sector. We routinely work within the energy, water, oil and gas, transport infrastructure, manufacturing, property and mining sectors. Our ESIA projects range in size from those of local interest, to major pipelines crossing multiple international borders.

Our teams create effective working relationships at all levels of an organisation, from senior executives and directors to project managers and engineers.

Reducing uncertainty and removing common concerns

Although our client base is diverse, a common concern amongst our clients is uncertainty about what is required to achieve consent and the time required for approval to be obtained. The in depth understanding of many facets of a development project and trusting relationships we have fostered with regulators, allows us to reduce this uncertainty, and increases confidence for all parties.

Our decades of experience in implementing effective stakeholder engagement enable us to pro-actively identify, analyse and respond to environmental and social issues early in the project. We ensure appropriate mitigation is embedded in the project’s design, speeding up the approval process. Moreover, we give realistic advice regarding timetables, which makes your planning easier and reduces stress on the project team.

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Our Expertise

  • Stakeholder engagement

    Well planned and executed engagement with communities and other stakeholders can significantly shorten the time it takes for a project to be implemented, improve project outcomes and help projects become environmentally and socially sustainable. We plan and undertake all the consultation activities required to support the ESIA process, from initial meetings with stakeholders to public meetings disseminating the ESIA conclusions. See also the Social and Stakeholder Engagement page.

  • Impact Assessment

    We systematically identify potential project impacts, and use simple, clear and transparent methodologies to determine their significance using qualitative and quantitative methods, both before and after practical and realistic mitigation measures have been applied. Where appropriate, we use latest generation models to predict the effect of air and noise emissions on climate and the local environment, and model the dispersion of emissions to water.

  • Field data collection

    We design and implement field data collection programs to obtain any new data required to enable a comprehensive assessment of project risks, impacts and benefits. We carefully plan all aspects of the surveys to ensure they are completed in a time and cost effective manner. We work on land and at sea to collect new information on biodiversity, air quality, background noise, water quality, soil conditions, archaeology, cultural heritage and the built environment. We collect new socio-economic data through carefully planned engagement with project affected communities.

  • Environmental consenting and planning applications

    Our experience extends off-shore from coastal waters to the deep ocean. RSK’s marine specialists provide biological, geological, geophysical and geotechnical services in the marine environment and offer a complete global consenting service for marine and coastal projects. They have worked in diverse environments including the North and South Atlantic oceans, the Arabian Gulf, the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean, Caspian, Caribbean, North and Irish seas. Find out more on our Marine Services page.

  • Other expertise

    In addition to the expertise described in the sections above, RSK provide our clients with:

    • Aerial surveys and mapping
    • Air quality and climate assessment modelling
    • Archaeology and cultural heritage assessments
    • Traffic and transport planning
    • Contaminated land assessment
    • Ecological assessment, survey, mitigation and habitat enhancement
    • Environmental consents and planning applications
    • Environmental site supervision
    • Pollution monitoring
    • Geographic information systems
    • Flood risk, hydrology and hydrogeology
    • Landscape and visual impact assessments
    • Landscape design and management
    • Landscape masterplanning
    • Marine (biological, geological, geophysical and geotechnical) services
    • Noise and vibration surveys and assessments
    • Waste management
    • Pre- and post-application consultations
    • Screening and scoping studies
    • Routing of linear projects
    • Site selection and constraints appraisals
    • Strategic environmental assessments
    • Socio-economic appraisals

🌎 As a global leader in the delivery of sustainable solutions, we won’t shy away from our role in the huge task the world faces – this has guided our growth over the last year.

💚 We strive for sustainability in all that we do and our commitment to this has been reaffirmed in our FY22 sustainability report.

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💧 It's #WorldWetlandsDay, which aims to raise awareness of the vital role of wetlands for people and the planet.

💚 We need to change our mindset around these essential habitats and their importance.

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🤔 But what do all these keywords and phrases mean?

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🌳 We asked green roof and ecology expert Dusty Gedge for his views on creating more sustainable urban landscapes.

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