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The Sustainable Project Appraisal Routine

Arup is an international engineering firm that utilizes The Sustainable Project Appraisal Routine (SPeAR®).  SPeAR is based on a four-quadrant model that structures the issues of sustainability into a robust framework, from which an appraisal of performance can be undertaken.

SPeAR® brings sustainability into the decision-making process with its focus on the key elements of environmental protection, social equity, economic viability and efficient use of natural resources.

As such the information generated by the appraisal prompts innovative thinking and informs decision-making at all stages of design and development.

This allows continual improvement in sustainability performance and assists in delivering sustainable objectives.

SPeAR® contains a set of core sectors and indicators that have been derived from the literature on sustainability.

The software is however capable of including indicators that reflect the context and scope of the project and so create a bespoke appraisal.

The appraisal is based on the performance of each indicator against a scale of best and worst cases.

Each indicator scenario is aggregated into the relevant sector and the average performance of each sector is then transferred onto the SPeAR® diagram.

The logical and transparent methodology behind the SPeAR® diagram ensures that all scoring decisions are fully audit traceable; and the diagram provides a unique profile of performance, highlighting both strengths and weaknesses from the perspective of sustainability.

The appraisal is undertaken at a particular time, however sustainability is not static and as sustainability drivers change so will the potential for further gains in resource efficiency, environmental protection, social equity and economic viability.

Image via urbanlegend

Written by John-Paul Maxfield

John-Paul Maxfield is the founder of Waste Farmers. Waste Farmers is a next generation sustainable agricultural company focused on helping humanity meet current and future food demands, while decreasing agriculture’s environmental footprint. The Company started in 2009 with $9,000 and a belief that idealism and capitalism can coexist. Today Waste Farmers has evolved into an innovator respected by leaders in the global community for developing simple solutions to the complex problems of modern agriculture and food security. Prior to starting Waste Farmers, John-Paul founded the "The Inspired Economist", a blog focused on covering the people, places, ideas, and technologies inspiring positive change and redefining capitalism.
In addition, John-Paul served as an Associate a private equity group specializing in small to mid cap service companies. In this capacity he focused on planning, forecasting, budgeting, and performance evaluation of MBH and its designated subsidiaries. Prior to joining MBH, John-Paul was an Analyst with Alvarez and Marsal where he spent the majority of his time on a team that aided Louisiana’s Recovery School District with the restoration of public schools post Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

John-Paul is active in the Colorado community, serving on the Board of the Rocky Mountain MS Center. In 2007 he was selected as one of the “Fifty for the Future” by the Colorado Statesman and is a graduate of the inaugural class of Impact Denver. John-Paul holds a BA from the University of Colorado.

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