Motivating a change in environmental assessment practice: Consultant perspectives on SDG integration

Emilia Ravn Boess*, Ainhoa González Del Campo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
26 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The responsive nature of environmental assessment (EA) subjects it to the political conversations that drive future planning and development, one of the most relevant being the increased attention given to a sustainable transition. This political attention has catalyzed an interest amongst practitioners to urge traditional EA practice towards one with an increased regard for sustainability objectives, understood, in this case, to be guided and driven by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Using a theoretical framework of a practitioner's ‘spaces for practice’ and interviews with environmental consultants in Denmark and the Republic of Ireland, this paper unfolds the motivation that consultants have for integrating SDGs in their practice. This includes both outlining the overarching opportunities that enable the adoption of new practices and the perceived capacities that demotivate integration attempts. The results are then compared and correlated across both countries, showing an emerging motivation from consultants for integrating SDGs and shifting EA practice towards aligning with the strategic goals, but also identifying challenges hindering the implementation of this motivation in practice. These range from being intrinsic conditions of the individual practitioner to extrinsic conditions of the relations between practitioners and stakeholder groups. The study suggests directing attention towards theory on how practitioners construct practice to better address the divide between SDG integration in theory and in practice.
Original languageEnglish
Article number107105
JournalEnvironmental Impact Assessment Review
Volume101
Number of pages9
ISSN0195-9255
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023

Keywords

  • Consultants
  • EA practice
  • Integration
  • Motivation
  • Sustainable development goals

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Motivating a change in environmental assessment practice: Consultant perspectives on SDG integration'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this