Jacobs has been working with the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment’s (IEMA’s) cross-industry Working Group in the U.K. to develop a new primer to outline how our industry can champion Digital Impact Assessment (Digital IA). As leaders in the Environmental Impact Assessment and consenting space, we’re progressing some of the largest and most complex infrastructure projects in the U.K. and globally. This enables our environmental team to offer a unique perspective and align industry progress with the support that we’re already providing to our clients. The IEMA primer defines what Digital IA is, why it is needed and how digital tools and technology can be utilized to support robust and proportionate impact assessments.
Digital IA offers benefits for all those engaged in the IA process: practitioners, consenting authorities, stakeholders and the public. These benefits include more efficient assessment and program de-risking; effective communication of IA outcomes; better stakeholder engagement and increased accessibility of information, saving time; adding value; and facilitating informed decision-making.
Jacobs joined IEMA’s Digital Working Group in 2018 to share our experience in digital consenting gained from large-scale infrastructure projects such as Transport Scotland’s A9 Dualling Perth to Inverness project, Highways England’s Oxford to Cambridge Expressway project, and the Environmental Agency’s Thames Estuary Asset Management (TEAM2100) program. Across these and other projects, we have deployed unmanned aerial vehicles, geographic information systems, mobile mapping, virtual reality and remote sensing to gather and visualize information more effectively and safely to support program objectives and delivery.
On TEAM2100 for example, by implementing remote asset sensor technology to monitor real-time performance data on key critical assets within the Thames Estuary system, we’re able to quickly identify any performance changes and intervene to reduce whole life costs of asset management and minimize any changes in flood risk.
Building on our existing digital toolkit, Jacobs welcomes the new primer and fully supports the step-change in our industry. Discover more about the IEMA Working Group primer available here.