IDB Group Sustainable Infrastructure 360º Awards – FAQ
- What is the objective of the Infrastructure 360° Awards?
- Who can participate?
- What are the Awards?
- What are the categories?
- Can the same project be nominated in more than one category?
- Can the same project win more than one category award?
- Is it possible to submit proposals for projects that were submitted in previous years?
- In what language can nominations be submitted?
- What factors will be taken into account?
- Do all the credits/ questions from the self-evaluation tool apply to my project?
- How do you account for differences in infrastructure project typologies?
- Our project faced unique challenges in meeting some of the metrics in your questions – do we get extra credit for this?
- How are negative impacts of projects treated in your evaluation?
- Do you adjust your evaluation criteria to the scale of projects?
- How do you account for the regional context?
- Can I start the application process be saved and finish the process at a different point in time?
- How are the awards decided?
- Who can submit a project?
- Who will provide the required information for the project evaluation?
- Where and when will the Infrastructure 360° Awards be handed out?
The objective of the Infrastructure 360° Awards is to raise awareness and promote sustainable practices in infrastructure investments by having award-winning projects become references for future investments. The Awards recognize those projects that are best designed, built and/or operated from a sustainability point of view, especially including their effect on communities and their overall utility as a model for future projects.
Submissions are welcomed and encouraged from all infrastructure projects that meet the following criteria:
- Located at an IDB borrowing member country in Latin America and the Caribbean;
- Be at least at 70% completion of construction works, or in operation during the past three years;
- Have an asset value of at least US $30 million;
- Be a private sector project or a public private partnership (PPP), with at least 51% equity owned by a private sector entity;
- Belong to the following sectors: Energy; Transportation; Water; Waste; and Telecommunications
Projects selected as finalists in previous years are ineligible for consideration for a period of three (3) years following their selection. After the three year period, finalists may only re-apply to the Infrastructure 360° Awards after demonstrating a significant improvement of their sustainability performance, by inclusion of the Harvard Zofnass recommendations or other similar efforts. Re-admittance into the Awards will be determined by the Harvard Zofnass program.
The winners will receive a commemorative plaque recognizing them as the most sustainable infrastructure projects in Latin America for 2015. Pre-qualified project developers will benefit from a detailed analysis summarized in a white paper prepared by the Harvard Zofnass Program team of experts. The Infrastructure 360° Awards are widely promoted through the various IDB communication channels.
People and Leadership: The project which exhibits the greatest extent of positive impacts on people’s quality of life and the community where it is located, immediately and throughout the project’s lifecycle. A project could stand out based on its efforts to minimize or mitigate environmental health impacts; to engage the local community in the decision making process; to implement best practices of governance; to exercise efforts to address social issues of local communities or to generate employment and training, and to use innovative technologies or management practices. Additionally, the People and Leadership Award seeks to reward leaders who design and develop projects that will be relevant in the long term by fostering stakeholder collaboration and involvement, by addressing conflict regulations and policies, and by planning for long-term maintenance and monitoring.
Climate and Environment: The project that exhibits outstanding performance in areas that may include, among others, the use of resources in a way that minimizes environmental impact; the use of sustainable-certified materials and the efficient use of resources; efforts to promote the rejuvenation of degraded ecosystems, the minimization of disruptions to ecosystems, and actions to limit greenhouse gas emissions in order to minimize the long-term carbon footprint of the project
Infrastructure 360° Award: The project that exhibits the most comprehensive performance and that stands out among all the finalists in the two categories previously described. The Infrastructure 360 Project will serve not only as a model of excellence in sustainability practices throughout the region, but also as a model for delivering infrastructure services through strategic and transparent management aimed having long-term positive impact on people and the environment.
Yes, previous year's applicants who still qualify can submit projects again. To repeat - pure concepts or unproven designs are not eligible. Long-term sustainability in terms of operations and maintenance are of particular interest. There are no project size restrictions.
However, projects previously selected as Infrastructure 360° finalists are ineligible for consideration for a period of three (3) years following their selection. After the three year period, previous finalists may only re-apply to the Infrastructure 360° Awards after demonstrating a significant inclusion of the Harvard Zofnass recommendations (as laid out in the case study prepared for the project finalist), or other similar efforts, for increased sustainability into their project. Re-admittance into the Awards will determined by the Harvard Zofnass program.
Projects may be nominated in Spanish, Portuguese, French or English.
The factors are summarized in the instructions sheet and are established in the Envision Rating System developed by the Harvard Zofnass Program for Infrastructure Sustainability at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.
Not all the projects can pursue all the points in all the credits, meaning that not all projects can reach the same maximum score. This is an outcome of several issues stemming from either the non-applicability of a credit in a certain infrastructure type, or issues related to general project choices that may be beyond the reach of the project sponsor. For example, new construction projects may not be able to get a high score in the subcategory of “siting” if the project is developed on a greenfield, prime farm land, or prime habitat. On the same logic, projects that are built in urban areas or are expansions of existing infrastructure will get higher scores on the environmental dimensions of Envision, as the environmental impact will likely be lower in places that were developed way before the project’s start.
Infrastructure projects score in different ranges, depending on their project typology. It is more difficult for a 30km transportation corridor to gain points in preserving greenfields than for an underground subway line. Similarly, an airport may consume more material resources than a photovoltaic plant or a wind farm. This does not necessarily suggest that an energy project is more sustainable than a transportation project. One of the key aspects to keep in mind is that appropriate documentation is required to substantiate the sustainable practices implemented on the project. Oftentimes, project teams invest time and resources implementing efforts but do not keep appropriate records of such efforts and because of that, they cannot get credit for it.
We objectively assess whether the Envision rating system criteria have been met. However, different projects may exert different levels of effort (and cost) to reach the same goal and meet these criteria. A project may face a singular challenge that requires substantial efforts and resources, and receive the same points as a project that did not have to face these issues due to its context and features. For example, a project in a landslide prone area (i.e. tropical forest) that invests significant resources in stabilizing soils and preventing landslides may receive the same score for a credit as a project that secures soil stabilization in a semi-arid flat terrain. Both projects received the same points for different efforts (and expenditures) that achieved erosion prevention. That being said, in each of the five evaluation categories we have an “Innovation” credit that accounts for actions that the project team took above and beyond what is considered a best practice. Additional proof of evidence needs to be provided to qualify for the Innovation credit.
Envision rewards the achievement of best practices in sustainability. However, projects may face difficult choices between environmental, social, and economic goals, and, in some cases, may have negative impacts on nearby communities and the environment. Our evaluation does take into account the efforts of the project team to compensate and/or mitigate such impacts. That being said, projects that face substantial societal opposition and/or have been substantially impacting the environment may need to provide additional information on how these impacts were compensated or mitigated and explain this in their application. A project may not be selected as finalist if there is no evidence that mitigation measures were taken to compensate for substantial social and/or environmental impacts.
No, the same rating system applies to all projects. Large projects have to comply with the same criteria than smaller projects. According to our experience, certain criteria thresholds may be easier to meet in larger projects whereas other criteria may be easier for smaller projects.
Several regional factors have been included into the evaluation methodology, such as gender issues or indigenous communities. These criteria bring each country’s context, regulations and standards in the evaluation process. However, in most cases, we evaluate performance based on globally-accepted standards and, in some cases, we use North American standards that may be different from standards existing in other countries.
The assessment tool automatically saves the information the participant adds, as long as the applicant uses the SAME COMPUTER during the process. However, we strongly recommend that project owners print and review the self-evaluation checklist before completing the online questionnaire, so participants can be familiar with the tool and collect the necessary information before submission.
Each project is submitted online through a self-evaluation tool developed by the Harvard Zofnass program. After receiving a complete application, the Harvard team will contact the representative of the project for an interview. With the information provided in the self-assessment tool and the interview, twelve (12) finalists will be chosen from the pool of eligible submissions and will be among those incorporating the most outstanding practices and innovative solutions given their context, scale, impact, and typology, as evaluated by the Harvard Zofnass team. These 12 finalists will then have to submit additional documentation that substantiates the responses provided through the online tool. A Harvard Zofnass team of specialists will review the materials and produce a white paper assessment of the project. Based on these case studies, a Selection committee made up of world-renowned experts will then vote for the winner in each of the Infrastructure 360 award categories.
Private or PPP infrastructure project's top management or shareholders with access to information on the design, engineering, technology, construction, operation, and maintenance of the project.
The project sponsor. For each project, the score achieved represents the information provided by project sponsors to the Harvard team. The Envision rating system has very specific guidelines on the requirements for achieving different levels of performance in each credit, and all requirements need to be proven through documentation by the project sponsor.
For more information, please review the Envision Rating System manual.
April 15, 2016.