Envision Canada Panel Highlights Growing Adoption of Envision

Jen Johnston, Clément Boisselier, and Greg Zilberbrant appeared on stage for the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering Conference Envision Panel in Moncton, N.B. last month, in a wide-ranging discussion about the growing use of the framework to achieve sustainability goals. Speaking to an audience of some 600 civil engineering professionals, the panel offered owner-, supplier- and academic partner- perspectives on Envision application and provided examples from illustrative projects from across the country. The May 25 event was moderated by Lourette Swanepoel, Envision Canada Program Manager and Principal, Calibrate Collaborative Inc.

Jen Johnston, P.E., manager at the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, spoke from the infrastructure owner’s perspective, and discussed Envision application in the context of the Envision Platinum Award-winning Centerm Terminal Expansion and South Shore Access Project. Use of Envision facilitated the development of sustainability goals right from the beginning of this project, and went on to inform design-build requirements, permitting requirements, teamwork and collaboration, and many other essential aspects. Envision kept sustainability “at the forefront at every stage of the project.”

Clément Boisselier, Specialist, Sustainability and Environment at Aecon Group Inc. contributed a private contractor perspective and highlighted different projects that have used Envision, such as York Region’s 2nd Concession Improvements Project. Envision use brings so many outstanding benefits when applied early on project teams, not least in ensuring that teams works collaboratively with stakeholders, in providing clarity around sustainability goals, and in “showing commitment to a certain level of sustainability that is measurable,” Boisselier noted.

Adding an academic partner perspective to the discussion was Greg Zilberbrant, Ph.D., an Adjunct Professor and the Program Lead for the Circular Economy and Climate Change Program at McMaster University. He said that by developing their understanding of the Envision system, his students in the dual-certificate program at McMaster gain a tremendous asset they can apply professionally in their sustainability careers. With Envision, there’s an opportunity to tie together many of the program’s key sustainability topics and themes, including about the role of infrastructure decisions on climate mitigation and adaptation; lifecycle assessment and circularity principles; and the climate resilience of infrastructure, Zilberbrant explained.

The speakers together brought valuable lessons and insights on how the Envision framework has been used to achieve better project outcomes for sustainability. The result has been a shift in the way teams can plan, design and deliver infrastructure, setting projects on a path towards higher sustainability performance.