VH road - environment

Responsible Management of the Environment

Environmental risks and opportunities are managed professionally, responsibly, and innovatively by our specialist teams.

Aerial shot looking down on the wave wall along Morecambe coastline

Professional and responsible management of the environment

Our certification to ISO 14001 across all parts of our business demonstrate the proactive approach to environmental protection embedded into our processes, procedures, risk assessments and aspects and impacts methodologies. 

Our Sustainability teams continue to work closely with our work winning and operational teams so that interventions are made early, and the delivery team are fully on board. 

Read our case study below on environmental protection at Rother Tidal Walls.

CASE STUDY - Environmental protection at Rother Tidal Walls 

RTWE-team-rother tidal

VolkerStevin were contracted by the Environment Agency to raise and strengthen the existing 6.5km embankment between Scots Float and Rye Harbour on the eastern banks of the River Rother to manage flood and erosion risks along the Romney Marsh coastline.  

Rother Tidal Walls East (RTWE) project

There was an array of environmental risks on the project which meant that controls needed to be far reaching and well managed on the project including:

- The appointment of a consultant ecologist to ensure the protection of a wide variety of animals. This has included the controlled capture and relocation of 21 great crested newts, 687 smooth newts, 472 slow worms, 221 common lizards and 15 grass snakes.  

- Erecting over 5km of newt and reptile fencing to provide a barrier designed to control the movement of reptiles away from the works area. 

- Daily risk assessment briefings to the workforce on the environmental controls in place. 

- Displaying images of the animals that could be encountered on the project in the site offices to raise awareness amongst the employees. 


Read the full article on RYE | NEWS website here.


Supporting biodiversity enhancement

The term biodiversity is used to describe the variety of all life on earth - animals, plants, trees, fungi and micro-organisms like bacteria. When everything works together, these provide humans with everything necessary for survival including fresh water, food and medicines, and can also improve the physical environment by cleaning the air and limiting rising temperatures. However, when this delicate ecological balance is disturbed, the impacts can be devastating.  

We are proud to be working in partnership with GreenTheUK to support biodiversity enhancements on our projects and help maintain this important ecological balance. GreenTheUK work with charity partners to give businesses access to biodiversity projects across the country including tree planting, wildflower restoration, kelp restoration and oyster restoration, as well as tree, wildflower and vegetable planting in schools.  

Read below to hear about when Emma Ward, our Head of Sustainability and Inclusion, volunteered with the Blue Marine Foundation on their oyster biosecurity project ahead of releasing the latest batch of oysters to the River Hamble oyster reef development.

CASE STUDY - Oyster biosecurity for the River Hamble 


Emma Ward, head of sustainability and inclusion, and Sophie Carter, customer experience coordinator, were two of 126 community volunteers who took part in the Blue Marine Foundation Solent Seascape Project oyster biosecurity event at the University of Portsmouth. Through our partnership with GreenTheUK, the VolkerStevin Southsea project provided funding for the initiative, in conjunction with Boskalis, and also provided 6 other volunteers to support the event. 


The aim of the Solent Seascape Project is to restore and reconnect habitats across the Solent Strait – a diverse estuarine system between the Isle of Wight and mainland England – including seagrass, oyster reefs, saltmarshes and seabird nesting habitats which have seen decline in recent years.  


Blue Marine Foundation has been working with the University of Portsmouth to restore and protect native oyster reefs since 2017, the latest of which has been on the River Hamble. The first batch of oysters were deployed in October 2023, but another batch was received in April 2024, which was where our support was needed to sort, clean, dry, tag, measure and weigh the oysters.


Emma reflects on the day - “Prior to my arrival, the previous volunteers had done a great job in sorting and cleaning the oysters, so I was part of the team to tag them to ensure effective monitoring once they were deployed into the River. The collective effort of all the volunteers over 4 days meant that a total of 3,800 adult oysters went through biosecurity measures and are now safely in the reef. It was a real learning experience for me – oysters really are the unsung heroes of the waterways, with a single oyster being capable of filtering a huge 200 litres of water every day, providing habitats for other water creatures, and acting as a natural defence against erosion - our very own ‘ecosystem engineers’!” 



Our award-winning ‘People-Planet-Purpose’ sustainability framework unlocks our desire to take bold action to balance the needs of the environment and society alongside our growth as a business. We are making a commitment that 2020-2030 will be our ‘Decade of Action’.