Environmental Due Diligence

Understanding site due diligence in M&A

    Due diligence is a fundamental part of any corporate transaction. When it comes to the details of commercial property, whether it's in mergers and acquisitions or investments/capital raising, environmental due diligence (EDD) is critical.

    Here, we explain what this process is and why it's so important. We also provide tips for those preparing for this level of due diligence.

    What is environmental due diligence? 

    Environmental due diligence is a crucial process that examines the environmental factors impacting commercial properties. This comprehensive type of due diligence assessment entails evaluating various aspects, including:

    • Proximity to sensitive environments, such as natural habitats, ensuring the preservation of ecological balance.
    • Evaluation of building structure and materials to identify any potential environmental risks or vulnerabilities.
    • Analysis of standard practices for the safe disposal of hazardous materials, minimizing the potential for harm to the environment.
    • Reviewing risk assessments and operational procedures to ensure compliance with environmental regulations and best practices.
    • Investigation of potential soil and groundwater contamination, safeguarding against the presence of pollutants that could pose risks to human health and the ecosystem.

    Why environmental due diligence is important

    Environmental due diligence is essential for assessing the potential environmental liabilities of a target company. Without this, the acquirer could find themselves with a costly business and no liability protection post-deal.

    A large proportion of deals fail due to issues surfaced during the due diligence process. These deal-breakers can be avoided if the sell-side performs due diligence on their own company before the buy-side gets involved.
    Environmental factors can be considered, risks assessed, issues handled and preventative measures put in place to ensure the company is more valuable when it comes to deal time.

    Tips for environmental due diligence in M&A

    Since due diligence is all about identifying and mitigating risk, here are some important questions to ask in order to assess the potential risks associated with a target property:

    • Has there been, or is there needed, a cleanup of contamination on owned or leased property?

    • Has there been, or is there needed, a cleanup of contamination on nearby property?

    • What potential or actual cases are there of bodily injury and/or property damage resulting from exposure to hazardous substances?

    • Has there been or might there be any cause for fines/penalties for violations of environmental laws?

    • What are the capital expenditures necessary to comply with environmental laws?

    • What are the projected costs of demolition or site redevelopment in case of: 

      • Contamination of the property

      • The presence of asbestos or other hazardous materials in site structures

      • The presence of wetlands or other sensitive environmental conditions

    • Are there any legacy environmental liabilities associated with former operations to be aware of?

    Seamless due diligence with Ansarada

    Ansarada’s M&A: Company Sale/Exit Pathway is a digitized template for M&A, containing all the critical data points that ensure a company is healthy and ready for sale. All you need to do is upload your documentation into the secure platform. Then, when it’s time for your business exit, all your information is correctly structured and ready to go.