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Sito to lead impact assessment development

IMPERIA (Improving environmental assessment by adopting good practices and tools of multi-criteria decision analysis) is a joint project of the Finnish Environment Institute, the University of Jyväskylä, the Thule Institute of the University of Oulu, Ramboll Oy and Sito Oy, which strives to make EIA/SEA processes more systematic, transparent and interactive and to increase cooperation and dialog within the industry.

The IMPERIA project (2012–2015) involved developing a tool and guidelines for environmental impact assessments and comparing alternatives. The final report on the project was published in May 2016.

IMPERIA creates good conditions and a systematic approach to assessing the significance of impacts. The development work has forced the industry to think about the terminology used in environmental impact assessments from different angles and to provide more precise definitions. It enables a new kind of accurate dialog on areas and sites and the significance of changes affecting them.

Thanks to the project, communication relating to impact assessments and the quality of assessment reports have improved considerably in a few years.  Concepts developed in the course of the IMPERIA project have become widely known among experts, which has helped to make interpretations more consistent. Guidelines, examples and the ARVI tool are accessible to everyone, and they can be applied in different ways as needed. Sito has already done so in more than 10 projects.

Documentation and the Excel-based ARVI impact significance assessment tool can be downloaded at http://imperia.jyu.fi/english.

Article about the project’s outcomes on the website of the European Commission’s LIFE program

Sito’s working group:

Project Manager Sakari Grönlund
Lead Consultant Raisa Valli
Senior Consultant Merilin Vartia