Environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) guidelines available

Environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) lies at the very core of project development in the cement sector. It is the means by which companies can identify the likely consequences of their activities and thus modify their planning accordingly. So essential is a sound ESIA process that it is directly linked with license to operate.

Geneva, 26 August 2016 - Undertaking an ESIA requires data, expertise and a sound understanding of the legislative, environmental and human context for the project proposed. To navigate these subjects and to ensure a thorough process is followed, the CSI has developed an updated version of Guidelines for Environmental & Social Impact Assessment to support cement companies with their ESIAs.

The guidelines are a revision of the 2005 guidelines and now offer major enhancements like:

  • More visually-appealing with tables, explanatory graphs, case studies and useful lists
  • More user-friendly, with a structure that follows the ESIA process itself
  • Hyperlinked references, glossary and practical appendices
  • Content reflects recent advances in understanding and best practice in the field of ESIA
  • A practical resource with a specific focus on the cement sector context and requirements

The guidelines provide detail on the following topics in particular detail: the screening and scoping phases, the baseline study and report, impact assessment, stakeholder engagement and environmental and social management and monitoring (ESMM). These key topics are addressed in a detailed but practical manner with reference to related CSI resources where relevant.

In developing these guidelines the CSI aims to help companies to push beyond the basic minimum requirements for ESIA and the fundamental avoidance of negative consequences and instead to use the ESIA process to generate opportunities to bring value to communities and to enhance biodiversity.

An information webinar was organized on 5 July to present crucial elements of this document and solicit stakeholders' feedback.  You can watch the recording and download the presentation.