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Arup takes aim at appraisals with SPeAR of sustainability

Arup Environmental has launched its bid for the sustainability index market with Sustainable Project Appraisal Routine (SPeAR).Based around the recent DETR publication, A Better Quality of Life: A Strategy for Sustainable Development, the SPeAR project is intended to simplify the process of balancing the various aspects of sustainability in a simple, recognisable format.

The project comprises a simple rose diagram split into four equal sectors, representing the subdivisions of sustainable practice: economic, environmental, societal and natural resources. Within each of these quartiles, subdivisions identify a number of further aspects. Finally, the diagram has concentric circles which are red (presumably for danger) on the outer edge and become greener towards the centre. By factoring in the social implications of sustainability Lorna Walker, head of Arup Environmental, considers that, 'this project is more holistic than the BREEAM system of energy audit. . . and the Envest system'.

The SPeAR diagram is proposed as an audit tool, to enable companies to assess, at a glance, their current environmental status and to monitor improvements.

Walker said that 'the beauty of SPeAR is that it does not have a marking system'.

'The aim', she said, 'is to strive for more green areas on the diagram, but often this is not viable.'

Arup Environmental hopes to see this format used as a marketing tool for businesses to show their commitment to sustainability.

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