Environmental Due Diligence

The topic of the environment is frequently neglected. The risk it harbours is more serious than anticipated and can jeopardise the economic viability of an investment.

Composition of a DD team

  • Geologist
  • Asbestos technician
  • Lawyer with experience of residual pollution issues

Preparatory work

  • Provision of information
  • Preparation of fact sheets
  • Compilation of checklists
  • Enquiries
  • Sixth sense


The purpose of Environmental Due Diligence (EDD) is to identify and manage these risks to the land and building.

The audit themes are:


  • Water supply
    • Where does the water come from?
    • Where does the rainwater (seepage etc.) or the untreated waste water (sewage system) –separation system go?
  • Waste
  • Proof of nuclear waste disposal
  • Hazardous substances
  • Water hazardous liquids
  • Costs
  • Residual pollution or contaminated site?
  • Energy consumption
  • Air emissions
    • Exhaust air / fumes
    • CO2
    • VOC
  • Non-ionising electromagnetic radiation
  • Noise


  • Asbestos?
  • PCBs?
  • etc.

Legal Compliance

  • Analysis of weaknesses
  • Non-compliances

Documentation and Assessment

  • Data collection and structuring, incl. photo documentation
  • Evaluation of findings
    • Need for action / measures
      • These experts recommend measures (elimination and/or protection), depending on the result of the audit and type of contamination.
    • Refurbishment costs
      • The experts calculate the refurbishment costs
    • Reporting
    • Evaluation / DD-Report


  • Liability risks for the buyer?
    • (unknown) waste disposal sites
    • Waste
    • Groundwater pollution
  • Attitude of the authorities towards the buyer?
    • Require refurbishment?
    • Penalties?
    • Cost shifting?
  • Risk limitation measures
    • Groundwater analysis
    • Approval of refurbishment feasibility studies etc.
  • Changes to the law and regulations

Future trends:

Increasing importance of environmental aspects (costs, scarcity):

  • Energy efficiency (CO2 emissions)
  • VOC output (VOC emissions)
  • Water consumption
  • Waste disposal
  • NIS

Decision on the way forward

Withdrawal or continuation of the project?

If the buyer does not decide to withdraw, the way forward must be clarified by involving the relevant authorities, in the transaction as well (the vendor refurbishes the property at his own expense / the buyer refurbishes the property in return for a price reduction), .

Further information:
» Contaminated site or abandoned hazardous site?