What is a CESMP?

March 15, 2022

In brief

CESMP is an acronym for Construction Environmental & Social Management Plan. The document should not be confused with an OESMP (Operational Environmental & Social Management Plan) or an ESIA (Environmental & Social Impact assessment). The CESMP is a project level document developed for specialized contractors (such as MEP, Civil, ICT etc.) to conduct construction activities in an Environmentally and Socially responsible manner.

The main goals of a CESMP are to specify the roles and responsibilities of the personnel involved in all aspects of the construction works; identify potential environmental impacts and the mitigation measures that will be used to address them; establish procedures for audits, provide monitoring and inspection programs during construction phase; and specify training for the project team in order to increase their knowledge for the environmental protection of the surrounding area. The document contains detailed management plans that apply to routine construction activities, the monitoring activities for sensitive receptors and the required training and communication protocols to be followed.

It is the responsibility of a project owner (e.g., TRSDC or NEOM) to ensure all their contractors are proactively following their CESMP guidelines.


Due to the continuous proliferation of natural resources, humanity has harmed the planet more than we have benefited it. The effects of our excessive consumption are apparent now as global temperatures ceaselessly continue to rise. This was a cumulative result from decades worth of greenhouse gas emissions, improper waste disposal and exhaustion of resources that have disrupted the natural order.

Now, completely eradicating our ill practices is a feat un-achievable, we can however lessen our destructive habits and work towards a sustainable future. Our planet is the only planet in the known cosmos that can sustain life and it is our duty to preserve it for our own survival.

Following numerous conventions such as the UN Climate Change Conference and Paris agreement, governments of influential countries have agreed to work towards a common goal and reverse the effects of climate change. Saudi Arabia with its new leadership and the vision 2030 has dedicated its efforts to make significant progress towards climate objectives. Within the construction sector, which is a major contributor to climate change, it has organized new bodies such as the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture (MEWA) and General Environmental Regulations and Rules for Implementation (GERRI) for identifying new projects with significant environmental impact and work to reduce their negative effects. Currently the requirement is only applicable to new large-scale projects however the requirement may very well be extended to existing infrastructures that have a significant impact during operation.

As of now, if you are looking to bid or work on a large-scale construction project, the following process may follow:

1. Identify

Identification of GERRI Project Category


Conduct a detailed Environmental & Social Impact Assessment


Develop Detailed Construction Environmental & Social Management Plan


Develop and Implement a detailed Operational Environmental & Social Management Plan

Structure of a CESMP

The structure of a CESMP is highly dependent on the client preferences and the guidelines given in the ESIA report. However, the below can be considered as a generic example.

Section/Heading Contents
Section 1 – Introduction
The introductory sets the stage for the report, detailing information on the project, its need and objectives. Furthermore, this section can also include information on the respective ESIA report summarizing its findings and communicate the Legislative framework applicable to the project.
Section 2 – Project Description
The second chapter dives deeper into the project specific and here the contractor will specify details about their project. The details must include the entire scope of work and respective resources required to deliver the project.
Section 3 – Policy, Legislation framework and Standards
This section of the CESMP Report sets out the detailed legislative, policy and administrative framework, regarding environmental and social safeguard requirements, applicable to construction activities and works. This section may also include national and international regulations and requirements, including client and the contractor's policies.
Section 4 – Environment & Social Management Framework
The environmental framework that has been used to identify the impacts and determine the most appropriate mitigations must be explained in this section.
Section 5 – Environmental risk and mitigation measures
This section includes the identification of environmental and social risks associated with the construction activities and provides specific instructions for implementation of the related mitigation measures. This is the core of the report and special attention is paid to it. All subsequent section derives from requirements mentioned here.
Section 6 – Monitoring Program
This section includes the identification of monitoring requirements for the construction activities and related monitoring program. It describes the specific monitoring procedures, instruction, and tools (checklists, forms, etc.) to be used by the contractor’s staff, including subcontractors.
Section 7 – Training Program
This section includes the identification of training needs for the construction activities and the general content of related training program(s). These may include Induction Training to all its employees and Contractor personnel working on the Project before early works start.
Section 8 – Community
This section alternative called Worker Welfare or Social impact describes the internal and external grievance mechanism developed by Contractor to record and respond to any concerns raised by workers and local affected communities.
Section 9 – Environmental Auditing
This section is to include an environmental audit program defined to address both internal and external audit requirements for the construction activities, including who is responsible for undertaking the audits, the frequency, the mechanism for reporting the results, and the management of corrective actions.
Section 10 – Environmental Reporting
This section will discuss the reporting requirements and should include the list of required reports including where appropriate monitoring, environmental incidents, non-compliance, corrective action and auditing, and the related frequency and recipients.
The appendices may be used to communicate all supporting information needed for the prior section. These may include data tables for Air quality standards or template forms for implementation of identified measures.
Environmental Sub Plans for Construction
The environment sub-plans are detailed management plan that aid in the proper implementation of mitigation measures. These sub-plans shall be referred by the project teams at anytime to understand their operating procedures.

Looking for a CESMP?

Our team of consultants has been working on numerous projects in the Middle East. We have worked with Major clients such as The Redsea Development Company, NEOM and Aramco and hold the required expertise to tackle any challenge. If you require help with such a report, please feel free to contact our team anytime. We assure you of our support.

We can help!