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Area of Expertise: Sustainable Management

Environmental Impact Assessment Banner

Improving Decisions to Maximize Sustainability

Nowadays, sustainable decision-making is demanded by authorities, the general public, investors and other partners. More than ever, it is also the right thing to do. Transparency of these sustainable choices is essential in order to build and maintain trust of the aforementioned stakeholders.

However, these decisions involve complex choices with often conflicting priorities (e.g. profitability today vs. social impact tomorrow) and a multitude of stakeholders to be taken into account. Moreover, environmental decisions typically incorporate mixed data that comes from a variety of fields such as natural, social, economic, ethical and political elements. These tendencies mean that sustainability issues are often group decision processes in an environment characterized by uncertainty.

D-Sight software will allow you to embed sustainability into decision-making and systematically apply a transparently structured process throughout the organization.

How D-Sight can help

  • Time-efficient assessment of options to optimize sustainability
  • Involve stakeholders early in the decision-making process to build trust
  • Enhance transparent collaboration
  • Combine incommensurable criteria and data in different forms
  • Gain insight into the opinions of different stakeholders and reach a consensus decision
  • Understand the significance of the impact of your options on economic, social and environmental factors
  • Flexibility to add extra options (e.g. after public consultation)
  • Align decision-making and reporting, leading to increased transparency

By using D-Sight for the environmental assessment of project alternatives, we were able to follow an automated process, thus significantly reducing the duration of the analysis. In addition, visual tools allowed us to easily interact with decision makers and therefore help them understand and accept the results. D-Sight provides real support for decision making allowing us to objectively choose the best option.

Amandine d’Haese
Coordinator and Team Leader of the SEE projet at Ecorem

Over the last years, producing an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) has become increasingly challenging due to the extensive regulation, the larger size and complexity of projects and the higher participation of the public. Sustainability agencies, research institutes and businesses looking to improve their sustainable practices have to tackle these challenges in an efficient manner. If you are spending too much time trying to make sense of this information overload while preparing an EIA, then D-Sight can support you in effectively analyzing the impact of your project.

Workflow EIA

D-Sight offers a systematic and consistent approach to the evaluation of alternatives in an EIA process. In a first step the project, its alternatives and an unlimited number of impacts are defined as well as multiple users (e.g. experts, decision makers, public representative or other stakeholders). Afterwards, each user will weigh the importance of the impacts and evaluate the magnitude of the impact in his perception. D-Sight Web processes and combines the input from the several users and provides reproducible results in the form of several intuitively clear graphical representations. Communication of these analyses to the authorities and the public is of critical importance, the graphs are a solid foundation for clear communication.

D-Sight’s tool will allow you to shift your focus from computational analysis to transparent communication supported by intuitively clear graphic representations of your assessment.

You can use our decision software solutions to:

  • Support the scoping step of the EIA (which key environmental issues should become criteria?)
  • Profoundly analyze alternatives and identify the optimal one
  • Assess environmental, social, economic and technical risks associated with the project
  • Perform impact significance analysis
  • Involve stakeholders and allow them to participate directly in the process
  • Clearly communicate results, providing a strong basis for a non-technical summary

The Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) process is similar though not identical to the EIA process. A SEA is actually often conducted before corresponding EIA’s. That is, a SEA analyzes the impact of a policy, program or plan on the environment on a strategic level. This difference in definition has a few consequences of which one is of particular interest in this context: there are more impacts to take into account than in the case of an EIA.

This increase in impacts is due to the scale of the assessment. For example, a policy’s impact can be influenced by the cumulative and synergistic impacts of the underlying projects. Moreover indirect impacts can arise, i.e. impacts that occur several steps beyond the original action. A larger amount of impacts means that the analysis will become even more complex than an average EIA.

If you are a government body or research agency getting lost in the multitude of criteria that stem from the scoping phase of your study, then D-Sight can support you in efficiently analyzing the impact of your policy, program or plan.

You can use our decision software solutions to:

  • Support the scoping step of the SEA (which key environmental issues should become criteria?)
  • Profoundly analyze the alternatives put forward by the authorities and identify the optimal one
  • Assess environmental, social, economic and technical risks associated with the plan or program
  • Perform impact significance analysis
  • Involve stakeholders and allow them to participate directly in the process
  • Clearly communicate results, providing a strong basis for a non-technical summary

Natural Resource Management (NRM) decisions are required from small peasant farmers in developing countries, to large energy policy makers in developed countries but they all have at least two things in common: they involve complex management issues and stakeholder participation is a key determinant to success. NRM decisions require consideration of a multitude of non-economic and often conflicting objectives (such as ecological integrity and recreational potential) and incommensurable units for measuring criteria. Moreover, liberalization of the markets and intensifying global competition are causing uncertainty in natural resource management.

The elements above illustrate that natural resource planning requires an analytical method that integrates environmental, political, economic and social criteria, and allows multiple stakeholders to participate directly in the analysis. D-Sight Web is the tool that will allow you to accomplish exactly this.

You can use our decision software solutions to:

  • Assure a transparent and reproducible procedure
  • Enhance understanding and management of complex natural systems
  • Involve stakeholders in resource management through an effective framework
  • Easily apply a structured methodology to natural resource management

D-Sight tools can be applied in a wide range of natural resource management situations, e.g. management of water and soil, forestry and wetland, food security, ecosystem management, wildlife management etc.


They trust our solutions

Ecorem

Ecorem Logo

Ecorem is an independent multidisciplinary consultancy and engineering company active in the environmental sector. D-Sight trained Ecorem's team on how to use D-Sight's software efficiently and understand the different features. 

Ecorem is an independent, multidisciplinary study- and engineering company specialized in the execution of projects in the environmental sector.

They use D-Sight to perform several environmental impact assessments. Through our software they justify their assessment and acquire a profound understanding of the underlying factors behind the final scores.

Read more about it in our case study

Walloon Region

The Walloon Region is one of the three Regions that make up the Federal Belgian State, the other two being the Flemish Region and the Brussels-Capital Region. The Walloon Region has an area of 16,844 km² (55.18% of Belgium) with nearly 3.5 million inhabitants (32.4% of the Belgian population).

They use D-Sight in a selection procedure to evaluate and assess different projects and their environmental impact in the region. The software provides them with several analytical representations of the alternatives and transparently justifies the final decision.

Waloon Region

Centre for Coastal Health

Centre for Coastal Health

The Centre for Coastal Health (CCH) is a non-profit which identifies and aims to understand the interactions of human, animal and environmental health.

D-Sight was used to determine methods to support and improve fingerling (a small type of fish) production systems for culture based fisheries in Batticaloa, Sri Lanka. Seven alternative production systems were compared and ranked according to their performance and efficiency to reach sustainable development and food security objectives.

Read more about it in our case study

UNESCO-IHE

UNESCO-IHE is the largest international postgraduate water education facility in the world and is based in Delft, the Netherlands.

They used D-Sight to evaluate different options to reduce losses of the available water resources in Kampala, Uganda.

UNESCO-IHE