A new process that measures the value of the social and environmental benefits of projects is generating buzz among academics, the private sector, public entities and government agencies. Developed by Omaha, Neb.-based engineering consultant HDR, the Sustainable Return on Investment (SROI) process allows decision-makers to evaluate a potential project’s overall sustainability benefits by assigning monetary values to environmental, social and economic impacts.
“Communities want to create sustainable solutions, but they need to be able to show taxpayers a return on investment,” says Elwin Larson, HDR executive vice president. “The missing link has been how do you show a return on green. Now communities can compare sustainable benefits on a dollars-to-dollars basis.”