Sustainability in Major Projects: Sustainability Leadership Lab
Type of course in situ
Course provider University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership
Available dates for this course
Please contact University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership directly for a current list of course dates
The infrastructure and industry that supports our modern lifestyles has been established, and continues to expand, via the construction of major projects. Such projects provide the roads, railways, harbours, airports, factories, dams, mines, power stations, pipelines and buildings. that provide the transport, food, water, energy, raw materials, products, offices and homes that we depend upon.
This Lab is aimed at private and public sector developers / initiators of major projects. Their capital investments represent opportunities to re-shape their activities, and the decisions that are made can have significant sustainability implications.
In contrast to manufactured products, major projects are large-scale, bespoke undertakings that cannot be developed via a series of prototypes (although much can be learnt from similar projects built in comparable settings). They have the potential to significantly alter natural, social and economic environments, particularly in the immediate vicinity of the development, both positively and negatively. Most of the impacts only occur once construction commences, and can be difficult or impossible to reverse once they have occurred.
The project planning stage is a crucial window of opportunity to predict what a project€™s impacts are likely to be, and to introduce changes (at low cost) to avoid negative impacts and to enhance benefits.
Participants will gain exposure to the processes and tools that can be used to ensure that sustainability is incorporated into the selection and planning of projects. A wide spectrum of impacts assessment processes has emerged to support decision-making, with Environmental Impacts Assessment (EIA) being used most widely. Other forms of assessment, such as Social Impact Assessment (SIA) are also used increasingly, and there is experimentation with various enhanced forms of €˜sustainability assessment€™. Tools that can be applied within sustainability assessment processes will also be presented, including multi-criteria analysis, systems analysis and deliberative techniques.
The integration of €˜sustainability assessment€™ at an appropriate level of detail from the outset, including during the identification and selection of potential options, offers considerable benefits; however the potential is yet to be realised fully. The Lab will provide a forum to explore ways to improve the effectiveness of tools and processes for incorporating sustainability into projects.
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