There is a growing trend among project owners involved in delivering capital projects to incorporate sustainable development principles into their projects. A sustainable assessment checklist will help those project owners ensure that decisions taken in developing the project have been assessed against recognized sustainability criteria. The checklist can screen the combined economic, social, and environmental impacts of the project. The Northern Ireland Local Government Sustainable Development Forum has created a sustainability checklist used in this article. Project owners are encouraged to develop their sustainability checklists that will include assessment questions that are relevant to their Economic Sustainability, Social Sustainability, and Environment Sustainability requirements.
The sustainability assessment checklist consists of a series of questions separated into the three principal elements of sustainable development: Economic, Social, and Environment. Each one of those principles will be further decomposed into five components. For example, for the economic sustainability principle, the five components will be economic development, education, information, innovation and job creation, financial benefits, and sustainability. As for the social sustainability principle, the five components are health and well-being, equality and poverty, sustainable communities, culture, and cleaner, safer and greener. Finally, for the environmental sustainability principle, the five components are energy, climate change, waste, biodiversity, and resource efficiency.
Using a Project Management Information System (PMIS) like PMWeb will create the Sustainability Assessment checklist process. The checklist will include the three sustainability principles, the five components for each principle, and the screening questions for each element that will be used as a guide to help the project owner to assess the sustainability of the capital project. For each question, the project owner needs to decide if the problem is relevant? And if yes, had the project owner considered it? This will become the basis for detailing how the project will have a positive, negative or neutral sustainability impact on the component being assessed and what mitigation measures should be undertaken when there are negative impacts.
Like other PMWeb modules, the attachment tab will be used to attach all supportive documents used to respond to the checklist. Those could include the proposed project location plan, pictures, studies done by third parties, and details of meetings held with the local communities. It is highly recommended that all those supportive documents be uploaded and stored into the PMWeb document management repository under a folder titled Sustainability Assessment Checklist. In addition, links to other PMWeb records like meeting minutes, among others, as well as imported MS Outlook emails be linked to the SA checklist form.
To ensure the formal review and approval of the Sustainability Assessment Checklist response, including the justification provided for each sustainability principle component, a workflow will be assigned to the SA checklist form. This will enforce the needed accountability in submitting, reviewing, and approving the Sustainability Assessment Checklist.
Another checklist will be created to summarize the economic, social, and environmental assessment. The checklist will be used to make a final decision regarding the sustainability of the project. It will also be used to consider if additional mitigation measures are required before justifying each statement in the summary checklist. The checklist will list the three sustainability principles, Economic Sustainability, Social Sustainability, and Environmental Sustainability. There will be five questions for each principle that summarize the relevant sustainability assessment checklist questions for each component. For each question, the checklist will identify if the problem is relevant, had been considered, if additional mitigation actions are required, and if it is justified.
Like the Sustainability Assessment checklist, the attachment tab will be used to attach all supportive documents and link relevant PMWeb records and imported MS Outlook emails. Also, a workflow can be assigned to the Summary of Sustainability Assessment form to formalize the submit, review, and approval process.
A report will be designed to capture the results of the Sustainability Assessment checklist and Summary of Sustainability Assessment checklist response. The report will detail the answer to the fifteen questions of the Summary Sustainability Assessment and a summary of the responses for each question’s four answers being relevant, considered, mitigates, and justified. Also, a tabular report will be created to provide details of the questions included in the Sustainability Assessment checklist and the response to those questions.