Evaluation of Experience from Using Sure® Standard in Infrastructure Projects: A Case Study of the Northern Collector Tunnel (Nct) Phase I Water Project
Kimonye, Eva Muthoni
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The concept of sustainable development has evolved since the Brundtland Report of 1987 but the principles of ensuring environmental, social and economic balance in the face of development remain the same to this day. Numerous tools for sustainability assessment have been developed to help policy and decision makers decide which actions should be taken towards achieving a more sustainable society. One of these tools is the SuRe® Standard which is a voluntary sustainable and resilient infrastructure rating tool developed by the Global Infrastructure Basel Foundation (GIB) in 2015. The rating tool has been used to assess infrastructure in China and India and is now gaining momentum in developing and emerging economies. The SuRe® Standard has been used to assess over 200 infrastructure projects globally but there have been no studies carried out to determine the sustainability and resilient benefits a project obtains from using the standard compared to using a business-as-usual approach. The aim of this thesis therefore is to evaluate the SuRe® Standard rating tool through the experience of assessing the Northern Collector Tunnel (NCT) Phase I water project in Kenya, which is a developing country. The NCT Phase I project is considered to be one of the largest water projects in Kenya making it a good case study to evaluate the experience and the benefits from using the SuRe® Standard. The objectives of this study are to review the cost incurred by projects from using the SuRe® Standard in reference to time and money. The study also assesses whether there are additional sustainability benefits a SuRe® certified project stands to gain compared to only fulfilling the minimum compliance requirements such as Environmental and Social Impact Assessment. In addition this study seeks to establish the relevance of the SuRe® Standard in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The results of this study show that there are tangible benefits that a project stands to gain from using the SuRe® Standard since it gives the project a holistic approach to sustainable and resilient issues. In addition, the results show that the SuRe® Standard can contribute greatly to the achievement of the SDGs and act as a tool to track the milestones achieved at the local and national level. However, the cost and resources associated with the SuRe® Standard assessment process may hinder project owners from using the rating tool since they have to incur other mandatory licensing costs such as those associated with processes such as Environmental Impact Assessment. In conclusion, the results of this study provide a deeper understanding on how infrastructure-rating tools assess projects and the benefits that project owners stand to gain from this process. This can be used as a reference point for project owners when deciding on whether to use rating tools or use the business-as-usual approach.