These days, every project seems to claim some level of sustainability, if only to better attract funding and favourable treatment by authorities. Unfortunately, the reality is that the marketing potential of sustainability may often be cynically harnessed while overlooking the very real commercial benefits of early, robust project design.
Kijani is unique in being able to offer comprehensive sustainability focused advisory services to pre-feasibility level projects that encompasses all three legs of sustainability simultaneously, namely the financial, social and environmental.
The environmental risk of a project is most often experienced as legal risk. If a project is likely to fall foul of the law early on, that law is more than likely to be environmental. Kijani offers ways to mitigate this risk by offering advice on the local legal environment, as well as highlighting potential opportunities to optimise the environmental performance of the project by embedding fundamental environmental principles in the project plan from the earliest phase.
Proper environmental planning not only mitigates legal risk but it increases the likelihood of attracting appropriate funding and has the potential to optimise operational efficiencies.
- Analysis of applicable legal framework and early liaison with authorities
- Advice on the selection of independent environmental specialists for the environmental impact assessment studies and management of that process if necessary.
- Support to the client in preparation for the public participation process
- Energy modelling to determine appropriate use of available energy mix
- Optimisation of the project design to identify the best energy mix for the site, including opportunities to minimise environmental impact in this regard.
- Identification of beneficiation projects that may harness the project’s presence to improve the surrounding environment.
- Analysis of funders’ environmental requirements and feed in to all funding documents
- Compilation of Global Reporting Initiative-based key indicators to ensure easy incorporation of the project into companywide reporting requirements
- Analysis of potential for carbon funding for project components
Social sustainability can be a minefield for project developers as it requires interaction with a wide range of stake holders, from villagers on the project site up to political leaders in national government. Often the environmental public participation acts as the primary vehicle for stake holder engagement so it is vital that the EIA practitioners have a clear view of the necessity to embed the project in solid social principles from an early stage.
In many cases, the skills set of people immediately affected by the project may not be appropriate to find employment in the primary activity of the project. In these cases it is vital that developers undertake to identify and support opportunities for secondary activities related to the presence of the project to be supported and flourish for the benefit of the surrounding community. In addition to this, the presence of a project in an isolated rural community can often be used as a vehicle for other, unrelated social projects to gain access to that community.
- Identification of potential social risks to the project, including political, health and labour risks
- Identification of partner organisations (often NGOs) either active in the area or with potential to work in the area
- Identification of potential for secondary opportunities for local communities to improve project influence
- Input into social impact study conducted under EIA
- Adaptation of project documents for various levels of social interaction