Project Planning and Viability
Cutting across each of our specific services, we provide advice to clients on the spectrum of social and environmental risks that can face prospective development projects.
By managing risk up front, and then throughout the life of a project, we contribute to its success by identifying ways to:
- save money,
- reduce potential schedule delays, and
- promote better relationships with key stakeholders
Project proponents who receive finance from a bank that subscribes to the Equator Principles and/or the International Financing Corporation’s (IFC) Performance Standards need to meet rigorous international standards – and that’s where we come in.
Our team provides specialized lender facilitation and compliance services to ensure our clients’ projects meet both national and international standards.
We offer advice on the steps that need to be taken; interface with financial institutions on their behalf; and monitor project compliance to ensure sustainability.
Our expertise in this area also includes Environmental and Social Audits and Due Diligence exercises to ascertain where other risks and opportunities might lie, and provide clear recommendations on the way forward.
Of all the social aspects of a project, resettlement can be the most challenging. Particularly if it involves conflict over land. Our philosophy is to help clients develop and execute resettlement in a manner that gives physically and economically displaced people the opportunity to improve, or at the very least to restore, their livelihood and standard of living.
We can facilitate the entire resettlement process:
- Compile Resettlement Action Plans (RAP)
- Conduct Social Census and Asset Surveys
- Perform assessments of potential resettlement areas, and conduct the resettlement site selection process
- Plan and design resettlement areas
- Develop livelihood restoration plans, and
- Monitor communities post-resettlement
Communication is key and we have the skills to develop communication materials that ensure communities are informed of their rights and the changes happening to them throughout the resettlement process
At its best, community investment builds strong relationships between a company and its stakeholders and makes a sustained contribution to improved quality of life.
Globally, we are seeing more companies than ever before allocating greater proportions of their bottom line to investing in community development initiatives that both benefit their local communities and enhance their own reputation. It’s something we strongly support and are proud to help facilitate through our development of Community Investment Plans (CIPs).
Social context is key and we actively seek opportunities to partner with NGOs that already have a presence in the communities or the greater project area. Depending on what is relevant, we start with capacity building, livelihood development, skills transfer or access to services, then assist our clients to implement and monitor the associated community investment/development initiatives and projects.
As a consequence of man-made development, biodiversity is reducing at alarming rates. On any given project, biodiversity impacts are likely to be some of the most significant so, now, lending and government institutions such as the International Finance Corporation (IFC) stipulate that impact assessments should also include a look at ecosystem services (The benefits society receives from ecosystems on a local, regional and national scale).Working closely with our clients we help them:
- Develop Biodiversity Strategies that focus on:
- the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity
- the maintenance of ecosystem goods and services
- Develop, plan and implement:
- Biodiversity Management Plans
- Biodiversity Offset Plans
- Undertake Ecosystem Services Assessments (ESA) in line with IFC Performance Standard 6 (Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Management of Living Natural Resources) to provide an understanding of:
- Project dependence on ecosystem services
- Multi-scale impacts and dependence, and
- Indirect and cumulative project impacts.
Contractors frequently make up a significant part of a project workforce and it is important to manage them effectively so compliance, scheduling and productivity aren’t compromised.We help our clients develop strategies for managing contract workers involved in the environmental, labour and community aspects of their projects. These include the development and implementation of:
- Framework documents which can be used to evaluate the abilities of their contractors in the tender, pre-FEED (front-end engineering and design), FEED and post-FEED phases.
- Management plans which are used to specify and track contractor performance for the duration of their engagement.
- Labour plans that encompass human resources development, employment equity, local economic development and retrenchment management.
We’re especially skilled at developing appropriate strategies to avoid, minimise or mitigate risk around labour relations and community impacts. Our expertise ensures that standards promoting morale, health and productivity are met in the workplace and on construction sites.