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Posted 19 November 2015
Public agencies across the country are using and requesting Envision in their request for proposals and qualifications and as funding criteria. Having Envision Sustainability Professionals (ENV SP) on staff can help meet these requirements, as well as help define a project’s influence on the environmental, social, and economic impacts throughout the life of a project.
Envision, developed by the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI), is a guidance tool that can help infrastructure stakeholders (e.g., public agencies, planning and design firms, and community organizations) make decisions towards sustainable infrastructure. Focusing on five categories (Quality of Life, Leadership, Resource Allocation, Natural World, and Climate and Risk), this system offers a way to assess the sustainability of an infrastructure project by emphasizing their overall contribution to a community through stakeholder engagement, cultural awareness, business sustainability, and environmental stewardship.
What is an Envision Sustainability Professional?
An ENV SP is an industry practitioner who has been trained in the application of Envision and has passed the credentialing exam administered by ISI. Because of their focused Envision training, ENV SPs understand the Envision process, are able to effectively communicate and consider stakeholders concerns, help define the scope of a project, and coordinate the documentation for the verification of Envision projects.
ISI offers two platforms to receive Envision training, through self-paced online training modules and through in-person all-day workshops. Of the two, the most effective way for an organization to train and implement Envision in their organization is to host an 8-hour workshop. The workshop is led by an ISI-approved trainer, includes material developed by ISI, and qualifies for professional development hours. The workshop is a great opportunity to facilitate conversation specific to the organization’s needs for using Envision. It also gives the attendees the opportunity to use Envision by assessing and discussing the levels of achievements of five case studies. At the conclusion of the workshop, individuals are able to describe the components of Envision, understand the verification process, and use Envision on projects. They will also be qualified to take the ENV SP exam.
Many organizations across the United States are using this approach. BergerABAM’s ENV SPs recently facilitated six workshops to train over 80 professionals in five states across the country. These workshops are part of the company’s program to promote the importance of sustainable planning and design.