The Wa-Pa-Su Project Sustainability Rating System: A Simulated Case Study of Implementation and Sustainability Assessment

Cesar A. Poveda, Michael G. Lipsett


Large-scale projects create a variety of social, economic, and environmental impacts throughout their life cycles. Assessing sustainable development becomes a measurable factor, not only for the organizations directly involved in the development, construction, and operation of projects, but also for a number of other stakeholders. In the oil sands and in heavy oil operations, assessment turns into a periodical task, since the construction and operation phases of the projects can last for a considerable period of time. The sustainability assessment tool must have the capability for the organizations and/or projects to evaluate and improve performance over time. The Wa-Pa-Su project sustainability rating system’s design and characteristics meet the sustainability assessment needs of the oil sands and heavy oil operations; therefore, the development of its structure is based to support each area of operation (i.e., sub-divisions) and address the diverse impacts (i.e., areas of excellence) in each pillar of sustainability (i.e., social, economic, and environmental). Though the different sustainable development indicators (SDIs) are incorporated with the aim of measuring the sustainable development of the oil sands projects, the assessment methodology used for measuring sustainability can be implemented in a large range of projects and organizations due to its integrated approach. Since the Wa-Pa-Su project sustainability rating system is the first of its kind focusing on industrial projects with an emphasis in oil sands and heavy oil, it must be understood that a variety of SDIs have not yet been measured, and the data required for this purpose have not been collected; therefore, the objective of this paper is to highlight the flexibility and applicability of the rating system by presenting a simulated case study of implementation and sustainability assessment using an integrated approach.

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Copyright (c) 2014 Cesar A. Poveda, Michael G. Lipsett

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Environmental Management and Sustainable Development  ISSN 2164-7682

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