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What is Environmental Due Diligence?

This is a comprehensive appraisal of a business or piece of land undertaken by a prospective buyer. It is an investigation that a business or persons should undertake to establish assets and liabilities and evaluate its commercial potential. It encompasses all spheres of life but has become particularly pertinent when applying to land purchases. As more businesses understand the term sustainability, this is especially relevant when making commercial real estate investments as professionals are demanding transparency and assurance that purchases are environmentally sustainable.

Whatever the size of the site you are looking to purchase, good due diligence is a critical part of the acquisition process. By researching as many angles as possible you will reduce your risk and ensure you are making a good investment. When it comes to commercial real estate transactions, the potential for financial exposure and liability could be very costly so due diligence is your insurance policy.

The Checklist

So what do we look for when making our assessment? When setting out the due diligence necessary for commercial properties and land, the extent and type of assessment warranted is property and site dependent. Items that are considered as part of the environmental element of good side due diligence and assessment are:

  • Asbestos
  • Asbestos containing materials
  • Lead paint
  • Underground Storage tanks, line and vents
  • Above Ground Chemical Storage or Products
  • Visible soil discolouration
  • Buried waste
  • PCB Transformers
  • Surface Water Discharge
  • Sensitive Adjacent Properties
  • Potential Contaminated Adjacent Properties
  • Air Emissions
  • Wetland Areas
  • Sanitary Sewer Failure
  • Onsite Septic
  • Private Water Supply
  • Surface impoundment
  • Excessive Noise
  • Foul Odours
  • Unsafe Material Management Practices
  • Pipe leaks

Phase 1 Desk Studies

Before we go out on site, we make a preliminary risk assessment of the study area. This is comprised of data from multiple sources relating to the site’s geological, environmental and historical setting that we collate for our clients and includes the following:

  • Executive Summary
  • Site Details and Overview
  • Historical Appraisal
  • Geological Appraisal
  • Environmental Appraisal
  • Conceptual Ground Model
  • Conclusions / Recommendations

All Phase 1 Desk Studies include a site reconnaissance visit by one of our engineers to inspect the site and record any information such as current site use, ground cover, potential contamination sources to supplement the information.

How Artisan Environmental Can Help

With our hands-on experience and knowledge of the investment and development sectors we will help you to reduce risk and save time, money and hassle on each of your projects. You can make an informed decision and consider possible liabilities therefore mitigating risk.

Artisan’s experienced team have a track record of helping with important due diligence. Our Asbestos Management Surveys will ensure you are not acquiring a property that will cost you thousands in asbestos removal works, while our Phase 1 Environmental Assessments will help you to evaluate the risk of contaminants and pollutants within the ground or buildings.


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