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MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development

global challenges, engineering solutions

Studying at Cambridge

Kristen MacAskill

Risk Management as a Framework for Applying Sustainability Concepts on Infrastructure Projects

Kristen MacAskill

Risk Management as a Framework for Applying Sustainability Concepts on Infrastructure Projects

 

This dissertation makes a case for integrating the concept of sustainability into project risk management for early phases of infrastructure projects.  This has the potential to re-conceptualise decision structures for sustainability from bespoke assessment to becoming a standard part of the project decision-making process.  There is no widely practised approach for objectively considering the environmental and social context of projects alongside the more traditional project risks regarding time, cost and quality.  A risk-based approach will not solve all the issues associated with current sustainability assessment, but it does place sustainability concerns alongside other key risks and opportunities, integrating sustainability with other project decisions.

This dissertation also proposes a need to address project risks (and opportunities) systematically, which requires an understanding of linkages between risks.  This concept is promoted in the International Standard for risk management (ISO 31000) and other risk and sustainability literature but it has yet to be widely adopted in practical application.  To address this absence of a systemic approach, social network analysis software is explored as the basis for a tool that allows assessment of risk and opportunity relationships.  A case study is modelled using the software to illustrate the insights gained from considering risk links, and the potential application of this tool on projects.