ENVIRONMENTAL REPORT DAVID O’SULLIVAN, PRESIDENT OF P.W. TRENCHLESS CONSTRUCTION
By David O’Sullivan, President of P.W. Trenchless Construction.
A Small Step Towards Making Sustainability Attractive When people take the time to think about utility installation they often recognize the benefits of the use of various trenchless installation methods. However, these benefits must be measured and evidenced in a legally acceptable and agreed manner for a purchasing body to give them full consideration. When one deals with public funds, the path of spending approvals must be clear, concise, and replicable. The Supreme Court of Canada has made it very clear in its decisions on the process of public tendering that in order to be legally binding the bidding documents must be clear and precise. Broad and subjective definitions will be meaningless, while precise and focused definitions will be upheld. For example, under tendering law, a city may be within its rights to ask that when you submit a tender you have to agree to use equipment made locally, even if there is only one source of equipment. Therefore clauses like “the owner has the right to accept tenders that are environmentally friendly” will not be enforceable unless the “environmentally friendliness” is defined clearly in a measurable way. In short, subjectivity in the tender sub4 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
mission process has to be removed and replaced by the objective, measurable, and comparable. In the trenchless industry we have struggled for decades to have environmental benefits included in the tendering process. The benefits are very obvious but we need a method of measuring them in a clear, concise, and replicable manner. CARBON CALCULATOR BACKGROUND This idea was born in 2006 when NASTT-BC (the British Columbia chapter of NASTT) initially pursued the connection between reductions of Carbon emissions and the use of Trenchless construction. The British Columbia Carbon Calculator and subsequent calculators are tools to assist designers in making initial decisions about which types of construction to recommend, thus guiding them in designing projects. The broader promise of Trenchless cannot be leveraged until we monetize the environmental value, in this case carbon reduction, by choosing Trenchless technology over the status quo.