Sunday 6 February 2022

Environmental analysis of the investment project

In general terms, environmental analysis of a project is a planning process aimed at assessing, interpreting and predicting the significant impacts of the project on the environment, the natural environment, as well as obtaining information that can be further applied in the course of making design decisions.

Environmental analysis of an investment project makes it possible to timely identify and solve environmental problems, as well as to reduce or prevent additional costs due to the emergence of environmental and related social and economic problems. Accordingly, the purpose of conducting an environmental analysis of an investment project is to collect, process and present all information about the project in a form that will make it possible to conclude which of the investment projects under study (project options) are the most environmentally acceptable.

As noted in MA SAFETY, the purpose of the environmental analysis of the investment project is to ensure conditions under which the projects will be acceptable in terms of conservation and minimal impact on the natural environment.

The environmental acceptability of the investment project is understood as its condition, which will ensure:

  • the ability to timely identify any adverse impacts of the project on the environment;
  • the ability, if necessary, to adjust the impact of the investment project on the environment.
  • To do this, the investment project must have a sufficient margin of safety.

The key concept in the environmental analysis of the investment project is the concept of "pollution". Pollution is understood as a change in environmental factors in an unfavorable direction due to human activity.

Environmental analysis, as well as the actual environmental aspects related to project activities, also largely regulates the international environmental standard ISO 14001. This standard is designed to manage the environmental activities of the enterprise and which is designed to optimize all processes in the enterprise that affect the natural environment. In the course of the work, existing and potential risks are assessed, schemes are developed to improve environmental activities.

With regard to investment projects, the ISO 14001 standard can be applied to form the environmental foundations of project management, and therefore to focus on all approaches to minimizing the harmful impact of the project on the environment.

Obtaining the ISO 14001 certificate by the company also has direct economic advantages:

  • a favorable image of the enterprise and investment projects is created, in particular, which is based on environmental responsibility;
  • investors' attention to the company and its projects is growing;
  • additional opportunities are created for the development of relations with potential foreign business partners;
  • there are opportunities for the development and strengthening of relations with local authorities, the population of the project.
  • Thus, environmental change is only one of the consequences of project activities; there are others that arise as a result of a violation of the ecological balance - adverse changes in the social environment, deterioration of the economic situation. It is worth noting that in any case, the parameters of the natural environment should be the focus of attention of the environmental analysis of the investment project.

For each considered parameter of the natural environment, ecological analysis involves:

  • justification of the need to assess its characteristics;
  • clarification of the list of impacts;
  • substantiation of the boundaries of the zones of impact of project activities, data on the size of sanitary protection zones and gaps;
  • characterization of retrospective, current and predictive environmental conditions and their assessment by background and regulatory indicators, taking into account possible emergency situations;
  • justification of measures to prevent and limit negative impacts, assessment of their effectiveness and characterization of residual effects;
  • analysis of restrictions on the construction of planned activities under environmental conditions;
  • clarification of the amount of necessary engineering preparation of the territory.
  • A rather significant problem in the implementation of environmental analysis of investment projects is the lack of an established clear list of problems that should be considered in each specific case. This is due to the huge variety of investment projects themselves and the complexity of their classification for the needs of environmental analysis. Therefore, for each investment project, an individual list of problems is drawn up that will be considered during the environmental analysis.

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