The Sustainable Project Appraisal Routine

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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.

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