The purpose of this intermediate level course is to provide participants with practical skills in the development and implementation of sustainability assessment processes, as well as insights into recent research that is shaping sustainability assessment practice now and into the future. This course features short lectures (conceptual and case study-based) interspersed with open discussions and individual and small-group activities.

Sustainability assessment, broadly defined, is a process for directing decision-making towards sustainability. While sustainability assessment can be applied in many different contexts by different types of decision-makers, this course will focus on forms of sustainability assessment that are aligned with ex ante impact assessment principles and practices. It is therefore of relevance to regulators, proponents, government agencies, consultants and anyone interested in aligning planning and decision-making with sustainability.

The course content includes:

  • Evolution of sustainability assessment, the spectrum of sustainability assessment practice and links to other impact assessment processes;
  • Understanding sustainability: normative and systemic dimensions and what they mean for sustainability assessment;
  • Processes for sustainability assessment;
  • Challenges in sustainability assessment;
  • Addressing the challenges: Emerging tools and techniques for sustainability assessment.

Participants will develop an understanding of:

  • Different understandings of sustainability and how they are reflected in sustainability assessment practice internationally;
  • How sustainability assessment relates to other forms of impact assessment;
  • How to develop and implement context-specific sustainability assessment processes;
  • Challenges in sustainability assessment and how to address them in practice;
  • Emerging methods and tools for sustainability assessment;
  • The state of the art and future directions for sustainability assessment
Level: Intermediate
Prerequisites: Participants are expected to have an understanding of IA processes and terminology. Hence it would be beneficial if they previously have attended an introductory IAIA training course (e.g. "Understanding Impact Assessment") or otherwise have at least a year of work experience as a consultant, proponent or regulator within an IA system, or be a student with at least 6 months taught or research experience of some aspect of IA. A particular interest in sustainability assessment is obviously desirable.
Language: English
Duration: 2 days (9-10 May)
Price: US$475
Min/Max: 10-60

Angus Morrison-Saunders, Associate Professor in Environmental Assessment, Murdoch University (Australia)

Jenny Pope, Director, Integral Sustainability (Australia)

Alan Bond, Senior Lecturer in Environmental Management, School of Environmental Science, University of East Anglia (United Kingdom)

Special Note:


Course materials will be provided to participants in electronic format at the commencement of the training course. Participants should bring their own laptop computer if they wish to access these materials during the course. Otherwise the materials can be emailed to participants after the course.

Professor Angus Morrison-Saunders
Qualifications: BSc Environmental Science (First Class Honours)
PhD in Environmental Impact Assessment

I have been teaching environmental science units at Murdoch University, including a course on IA (ENV556 Principles of Environmental Impact Assessment which includes a major component addressing sustainability assessment) for more than 20 years at the university level. Since 2015 I have also taught ENV617 Sustainability Assessment for a masters program. I have frequently taught at international universities, including in the Master of Sustainability Leadership at Cambridge University since 2012.

Following six years as co-editor of IAPA journal, I am currently Associate Editor of EIA Review. My PhD was on the effectiveness of EIA in terms of outcomes and this has been the focus of my research. I have published numerous journal articles on EIA with many specifically on sustainability assessment issues, and co-edited two 'sustainability assessment' textbooks (Morrison-Saunders A, J Pope and A Bond (eds) 2015 Handbook of Sustainability Assessment, Research Handbooks on Impact Assessment, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar; Bond A, A Morrison-Saunders and R Howitt (eds) 2013 Sustainability Assessment Pluralism, Practice and Progress, Routledge, Abingdon).

Each year since 2005 I have conducted a two day Environmental Assessment for Practitioners training course on behalf of the Western Australian Environmental Protection Authority Service Unit and the Environmental Consultants Association (Inc) – the repeated invitation to run this course once or twice yearly is testament to its successful and effective delivery. This course includes important content relating to sustainability assessment.

I have co-presented with Jenny Pope three 2-day courses entitled Sustainability assessment of policies, plans and projects on behalf of Engineers Australia. Jenny and I have successfully delivered training courses in sustainability assessment at IAIA06, IAIA07, IAIA09, IAIA10 and IAIA11. I have also given many iterations of a training course on EIA Follow-up at previous IAIA annual conferences.

I have been a member of IAIA since 1996 and am an active participant in the organisation (e.g. Co-Editor of IAPA (2009-2104), Book Review Editor for IAPA (2005 - 2009), member of the IAPA Board 2004-2007, session chair of workshops at all IAIA conferences since 2001, lead author of IA Follow-up Best Practice Principles published on the IAIA website in 2006, and Chair of the Steering Committee for IAIA08).

Dr. Jenny Pope
Qualifications: BEng (Chem) (First Class Honours)
Grad. Dip. Sci. (Biotechnology)
Post Grad. Cert. (Policy Studies)
PhD in Sustainability and Technology Policy

I am a Director of Western Australian consultancy firm Integral Sustainability, which provides consultancy and training services to industry and Government on the integration of sustainability concepts into decision-making processes, with a focus on delivering positive social outcomes from development. I am a chemical engineer by training, and my practice builds upon my experience in industrial and corporate environmental management, particularly in the oil industry. In 2007 I was awarded my PhD from Murdoch University for my research into the evolution of processes for the sustainability assessment of complex and strategic projects. During this period I became extensively involved in the development and implementation of sustainability assessment processes in Western Australia, working with both the Government and the private sector in this area.

Sustainability assessment has continued to be the focus of my consultancy practice for the past decade. I have worked for a wide range of clients, specialising in public infrastructure delivery and the oil and gas sector, with recent clients including Shell Australia, Woodside Energy Limited, the Water Corporation of Western Australia, Western Power, Gold Coast Water, Woodside Energy Limited, the City of South Perth and the Australian Green Infrastructure Council (AGIC). I am therefore able to bring practical examples and insights to the course based upon this experience.

In addition to my consulting practice I maintain strong links with the academic sector. I currently hold academic positions at the University of Cambridge, UK and North-West University, South Africa, where I research, teach and supervise Masters students in the areas of impact assessment and sustainability leadership.

I am recognised internationally as a scholar of sustainability assessment, with more than 20 publications on this topic, encompassing the entire history of the field. I am a co-editor (with my fellow trainers) of the forthcoming Handbook of Sustainability Assessment (part of Edward Elgar Research Handbook on Impact Assessment series), as well as a contributor to six chapters of the book on various aspects of sustainability assessment research. I am lead author of the IAIA Key Citations for Sustainability Assessment ( Citations_Sustainability 14 Oct.pdf), and a co-author (again with my fellow trainers) of the 2012 IAPA paper The State of the Art of Sustainability Assessment. I was guest editor of a special edition of the Journal for Environmental Assessment, Policy and Management on sustainability assessment in September 2006. I have been invited to speak on sustainability assessment at numerous conferences and events in Australia and overseas, including the University of Saskatchewan, Canada (2013); the University of São Paulo, Brazil (2013); the Nordic-Baltic Impact Assessment Conference Kuressaare, Estonia (2012) the Interdisciplinary Workshop on Sustainability Indicators, São Paolo, Brazil, (2011); the South African Affiliate of IAIA (North West Branch) (2011); 'Unpacking and Demystifying Strategic Assessment Conference and Workshop' hosted by the Northern Territory Government, Australia (2010). I chaired or co-chaired the sustainability assessment stream at SEA05 in Prague, IAIA07 in Seoul, IAIA09 in Accra, IAIA10 in Geneva, IAIA11 in Puebla and IAIA15 in Florence.

Together with Angus Morrison-Saunders, I have successfully delivered training courses in sustainability assessment at IAIA06, IAIA07, IAIA09 and IAIA10. We have also presented three 2-day courses entitled Sustainability assessment of policies, plans and projects on behalf of Engineers Australia. I have also taught environmental management and sustainability assessment at postgraduate level at Murdoch University (ENV521 Organisational Strategies for the Environment and STP 220/440 Sustainability for Professionals) and presented a number of guest lectures on sustainability assessment as part of other Murdoch University courses.

I have been a member of IAIA since 2003 and have been an active participant at IAIA03, IAIA04, SEA05, the special conference on cumulative effects in Calgary in 2008, and all annual conferences from 2006 to 2015 inclusive. I was Program Coordinator for IAIA08 in Perth. I was a member of the IAPA Editorial Board for 6 years, and co-editor (with Alan Bond) of IAPA special issue on The State of the Art of Impact Assessment (2012).

Professor Alan Bond
Qualifications: BSc Environmental Science (First Class Honours)
Diploma (Environmental Impact Assessment)
PhD in Simulating lava flows with small scale models

I have been teaching environmental impact assessment at university since 1992 when I launched a distance-leaning MSc. I have been course director of full-time MSc programmes teaching environmental assessment and management since 2000 first at Aberystwyth University, and now at the University of East Anglia.

After a number of years on the Editorial Boards of both Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal, and Environmental Impact Assessment Review, I am now Editor-in-Chief of Environmental Impact Assessment Review since January 2015. I have published numerous journal articles on aspects of impact assessment including EIA and Health Impact Assessment, with many specifically on Sustainability Assessment. I have written a text book on Environmental Impact Assessment (Bond 2000 Environmental Impact Assessment in the UK: Background, basics, context and procedure, Chandos, Oxford); edited a book on Research Methods for MSc students (Bond (ed) 2006 Your Master's Thesis: How to plan, draft, write and revise, 2nd edition, Studymates, Abergele); and have co-edited two 'sustainability assessment' textbooks (Morrison-Saunders A, J Pope and A Bond (eds) 2015 Handbook of Sustainability Assessment, Research Handbooks on Impact Assessment, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham; Bond A, A Morrison-Saunders and R Howitt (eds) 2013 Sustainability Assessment Pluralism, Practice and Progress, Routledge, Abingdon).

I have regularly provided professional training for local authority planners in the United Kingdom, most recently two one-day courses on Environmental Impact Assessment in 2014. I co-delivered a Workshop on Environmental Impact Assessment for Decommissioning of Nuclear Installations on behalf of the International Atomic Energy Agency and Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, in Ispra, Italy, 1-5 September 2014, and I have co-presented with Ben Cave and Peter Furu a 2-day course on Health Impact Assessment at IAIA06.

I was a member of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment Technical Sub-Committee from October 2003 until May 2011, and then served on its successor, the Quality Mark review panel until December 2014. I have been a member of IAIA since 1995 and am an active participant in the organisation (e.g. Chair of the publications committee 2002-2007; chair of a working group to achieve ISI status for IAPA (which submitted in 2013 – successfully, IAPA editorial board member 2002-2014).

I have prepared EIA guidance, for example the Scoping Guidance published by the Environment Agency (Environment Agency (2002), A handbook for scoping projects Environment Agency, Bristol), and published a review checklist for Health Impact Assessment with colleagues ( I currently sit on a Sustainability Assessment Group for 'Radioactive Waste Management' – the company charged with implementing the UK's 'Managing Radioactive Waste Safely' programme.