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MSc. PROJECT MANAGEMENT
Critical Evaluation on how environmental issues affecting the way a project is chosen, planned, designed and implemented
“Engineering Project Evaluation”
Module Assessor: Mr. Ian Ridely Title of Assignment: Assignment 1 Submitted By: Imran Hasan Student ID: 089047178 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Date of Submission: 11-01-2009
University of Sunderland
Introduction Ecosystem Types 1 Engineering Project Lifecycle and Environmental effects Environmental issues on choosing engineering projects 3 Environmental Issues affecting planning engineering projects 3 Designing phase and environmental issues 5 Implementation of engineering projects and environmental issues 6 Conclusion 6 Reference 7 2 1
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Environmental Issues in Engineering Projects
Our planet earth has a natural environment which is known as 'Ecosystem’. It includes all active and non-active things that live on our planet. Therefore environment includes all humans, plant life, mountains, glaciers, atmosphere, rocks, galaxy, massive oceans and seas. It also includes natural resources such as water, electric charge, fire, magnetism, air and climate (Internet Geography, 2008).
Figure1. Introduction to Ecosystems (Internet Geography, 2008)
Ecosystem Types: There are six major ecosystem types that can be used for better understanding towards environment and its associated elements by (H.John Heinz III, 2002) • Forest • Urban and suburban areas • Coast and oceans • Farmlands • Fresh waters (Wall G, 2002) discussed that in today’s world of human and especially engineering projects are facing many challenges. Engineering developments are resulting in resource depletion and environmental destruction and by the introduction of modern technologies in the field of engineering and manufacturing industry has a major impact on our life in past few years. Due to the rapid change in the industrial, engineering and manufacturing industry; our planet earth and its environment has drastically changed and has very severe effects on the environment. Engineering and manufacturing industry has increasing use of metals, plastic, oil and rubber which are used in the production of numerous end products which can be associated with different industries such as Car production units, shipping industries, Cotton mills, plastics industries, Coal mining, heavy machineries and etc which are causing numerous arduous effects and are considered to be non-environment friendly. University of Sunderland 3
Engineering and industrial wastes can be one of the mundane environmental issues which are referred as Anthropogenic (Eoearth, 2008). The term anthropogenic is used in the light of common waste caused by engineering and manufacturing industries which can be chemical waste, metal waste and toxic gas release that can pollute water, land and air severely. Despite the fact that the modern engineering has accomplished a lot more and altered the way engineering industry worked in the past but it has polluted the environment, which are going to affect earth and its ozone layer. According to (Arjun Makhijani, Ph.D. 2007) who highlighted in the preface of his book Carbon free- Nuclear free: An Energy Map for the U.S “The history of development shows that the norms for the ‘good life’ are set by the wealthy. We must develop the notion of ‘Enough’.”We ignore at our cost Mahatma Gandhi’s timeless advice on sustainability:”The earth has enough for everyone’s need but not for everyone’s greed.”We need the courage to say:”Enough is enough!”
Engineering Project Lifecycle and Environmental effects:
Any project can be executed in different phases which are very essential in terms of choosing, planning, designing and implementation. This paper will be discussing about the environmental impacts and its assessment on each of the phases of the engineering projects and its evaluation throughout the project lifecycle. Engineering projects are engaged with the different essence of activities such as manufacturing, plastics industries, power generation units, car production, shipping industries and cotton mills which are using a large amount of energy, material and resources and can affect the environment of earth. Engineers must have the understanding that whatever they are doing must have an impact on environment and what countermeasures they can adopt to overcome them. Let’s have a look at how these environmental issues can affect the each stages of project which are as follows: • • • • Choosing a project Planning Design Implementation Choose a project
Simple Project lifecycle
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Environmental issues on choosing engineering projects:
Engineering projects are one of the kinds of projects that can be chosen carefully by considering several issues that might not be environmental friendly and can pollute water, air or land. Engineering projects can be categorized into different project types and each of the categories has its respective environmental impacts such as; • • • • • • • • • • C02 Emission Energy Conservation Genetic Pollution Land pollution Carbon neutral Water pollution Waste disposal Toxins Metal-processing waste Plastic waste
Therefore, these environmental issues can be assessed initially to decide whether the project is feasible to proceed further or not and according to (Communities and local Government, 2000) this assessment is commonly known as ‘Environmental Impact Assessment’. It delineates the processes for different types of projects before they can be developed. By the help of this assessment, a systematic approach and procedures are considered in advance that could be beneficial to predict any future environmental impacts and methods to reduce them. It also enables a sustainable development and property used and will benefits whoever involves in planning process to choose such engineering projects. The International Energy Agency (IEA) declares that approximately 10 trillion dollars must be spent in near future on replacing the power plants and some other energy infrastructures in some large scale industrial based countries. The political and socio-economic factors must be assessed to determine this investment which is in that context that we will shun severe climate changes and nuclear disasters because engineering and manufacturing projects involves high volumes of energy consumptions. Industrial based countries should commit to reduce emissions by 30 percent in 2020 and 80 percent in 2050 by domestic moderations and include massive funding for decarbonisation to developing countries. According to (UNEP, 2008) the consumption of energy level can be satisfied globally with sun rays 10,000 times over and on average 1700 KWH energy can be received via sunlight for each square metre of land each year and by one estimate the net worth of the solar electricity market is already € 13 billion annually.
Environmental Issues affecting planning engineering projects:
In general, if we are initiating any engineering project on large scale then there is another important phase needs to be carefully executed i.e. Project Planning. According to (Robert Loo, 1996) this is one of the significant phases in any project which refers to the conceptualization and designing of the engineering project that what needs to be done in advance. It normally inaugurates overall project plan and afterwards detailed project planning University of Sunderland 5
phase. This project description considered to be the heart of the project which can result in severe results if it is not carefully planned. This project plan gives a laconic and standard summary of the project purpose and its objectives, any terms and conditions, mandate for project, description of methodology and milestones (project start and end dates). Engineering and industrial projects normally consumes a large amount of metal, rubber, leather and plastics materials which emits high level of Co2, toxic gases, chemicals and several hazardous industrial wastes while processing that can be referred to as major source of environmental pollution. Theses industrial wastes can be considered as major threats to environment and society which needs to be carefully planned and evaluated during planning phase. (Chrysanthus Chukwuma Sr, 1998) describes if environmental issues are perceived adequately in the initial stages of planning and management then it is quite convenient, not only familiarize with scientific and engineering methodologies but also with generalized principles on which planning of engineering projects are to be founded. The planning phase is so important that they must be simulated and integrated with our daily lives and general deficiency of interest and ignorance diffuse the attitude of high majority of people as regard the environment. According to engineering project planning it should insure waste management such as contamination of animal skin, toxic materials, impact of chemicals on land, water pollution, heavy metal-processing waste, plastic waste and other industrial wastes. (I. Barnsley, 2008) from United Nation University elaborates more in his report on Emission trading that any project which has to be developed should be well planned in terms of several factors keeping in mind before signing an agreement of development. This project plan must cover all aspects from: what is the scope of project; how to reduce emission that will be in legal limits and certified by the relevant authorities; stakeholder’s participation and consultation and what other environmental impacts and risk of the project. There are several issues needs to be contemplated while planning any project which can be discussed below; Emission reduction measurement: It is all-important that any project which is planned must be measured precisely in terms of emission of toxic gases and quantity of greenhouse gases already emitted from the target activity even after implementation. Methodology to measure emission: There are several methodologies already involve in measuring emission reduction from day to day and commercial activities. Project Impact on large-scale: It is important for planning any project to reduce emission and what impacts may a project have in advance on environment which can be good or bad and find out if this project will have any long-term benefits. Consultation: Stakeholders and community representatives must be consulted during the planning phase because they are the actual decision makers who involves in planning to improve the best strategy for the community to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Rights to reduce emission: Another very important aspect must be evident for the proposed activity of the project which includes forestry and land management that what are the legal rights to any emission. Certification of emission reduction: This involves any third party who will certify the reduction of emissions or offsets that should be under agreement that which activity should take place that is a major source of greenhouse gases.
Therefore planning any engineering project must cover all aspects to make this world environmental friendly and developing a better pollution free society.
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Designing phase and environmental issues on engineering projects:
Environmental issues are more serious concerns these days and most of the industries need to surmount these issues to reduce the load of the severe environmental impacts on our ecosystem. (Keijiro Masui et al. 2003) has proposed in recent years that industries and manufacturers become more conscious about the environmental friendly designs of products. United Nations of Environment Programme (UNEP) has conducted a joint project with small and medium sized organizations in 1997 in association with University of Technology and Syntens Corp. to produce environmental conscious design (Ecodesign). After introducing this concept of (Ecodesign), some new design tools also discovered which can be used in the evaluation of product’s impact on environment and its recyclability. According to the research of (Akao, 1996) as cited by (Keijiro Masui et al. 2003) that there is another design tool called Quality Function Deployment (QFD) which is used to dissect the usability of the product to give the understanding of environmental impact and their preventions in the early stages of design. This concept of QFD can be applied to design of the products and can be more elaborated by this flow chart described by the research of (Keijiro Masui et al. 2003).
Design for Environment Product concept making Conceptual design Qualitative Design Review Detailed Design Quantitative design review Production Figure 2. DfE flows and design support tools
(Keijiro Masui et al. 2003)
After these detailed findings of the design aspects of the product the design engineers try to improve the product which can be environmentally friendly to obtain requirement of the market. Engineers and customers later discuss design aspects of the products to consider the environmental concussions of manufacturing and its recyclability. These aspects of design of the product can be described below which needs to be considered are as follows to overcome environmental affects; 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Material quantity must be used in smaller amount. Logistics and transportation of the material should be easy to transport and retained. Assembly process must be easy to process. Energy consumption should be adequate during each phase of manufacturing. Reusability of the product should be well kept in mind to gain more benefits in future. Disassembly should be easy to regulate in the maintenance phase. Design of the product should be harmless to living organisms for example noise, smell or vibrations. 8. Emission of water, air and soil pollution should be carefully taken into consideration. 9. Disposal activities must be easy to achieve at finalization with less resources consumption.
Implementation of engineering projects and environmental issues:
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Zabihollah Rezaee and Rick Elam (2000) stated in their research that Industries and manufacturing organizations are getting more environmental cognizant in the last two decade and so many laws, rules and regulations are been proposed in order to maintain a better environmentally friendly atmosphere for the world. These environmental issues are gaining a lot of interest day by day by communities, people, governments, industries, manufacturers and businesses. Environmental accountability becomes more important and can be categorized into mandatory requirement and voluntary initiatives. In this era of environmentally conscious world, large-scale corporations and industries are drifting towards environmental management which is moderately improving the factors affecting environment and its ecosystem. Recently International Standard Organization (ISO) stipulate global business by the introduction of ISO 14000 standards to look after the environmental issues a study by Stee and Rabae (1995 cited Zabihollah Rezaee and Rick Elam 2000). ISO 14000 is relatively a better management tool which extracts information from the organizations on their current environmental management system (EMS) and issue annual reports. This standard is subsequently important in the implementation phase of any engineering project because it evolves around governmental laws, legislations and society concerns over air pollution, toxic drainage, waste management, soil corrosion and hazardous substances wastage that cause water pollution. Environmental management systems must be conformed against the standards that can be verified and issued with certifications of ISO 14000. These legislations and laws are set out to improve the environment’s overwhelming situation day by day and to hinder any future related issues that can devastate our planet and its environment. It is quite essential to create such an environment within the manufacturing units and industries so that everybody should be aware of the environmental issues while implementing any new projects or working with existing ones. Implementation phase requires a proper framework and a complete strategy which includes staff, resources and management who must be trained well for the new change in the organization. While implementing new projects companies should be well prepared for any future challenges or latent issues that probably may ascend for example: lack of training, communication within departments, psychological pressures on staff for new projects and improved rules and possible resistance to accept it. Therefore management has to control all these possible issues while implementing any new projects within engineering and manufacturing units as these changes will be more beneficial for the betterment of staff itself and have less polluted industries which results in environmental friendly world.
The main purpose of this report is to create the awareness of environmental issues and its effects on a project lifecycle of any engineering and manufacturing units. Today’s world is rapidly changing due to the introduction of modern technology, market needs and competition around the globe. People’s opinion matter in today’s world and customers are getting more concerned about the environmental friendly end products which are profitable, quick seller and free from environmental risks. It also summarizes that the whole lifecycle of the projects on each stage from choosing of the projects till its implementation that environmental issues plays a vital role on each stage and above discussion can elaborate the high priority towards this significant matter that can devastate the world’s environment. Therefore engineering and manufacturing organizations should be concentrating more on the today’s environmental issues to make this world pollution free and a better place to live.
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Total words= 2582
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I. Barnsley. (2008) Emissions trading, carbon financing and indigenous peoples. Published by Institute of Advanced Studies. United Nations University, [online] Available from: http://www.ias.unu.edu/resource_centre/UNU-CARBONMARKET.pdf [Accessed 06 jan 2009] Zabihollah Rezaee, Rick Elam. (2000) Emerging ISO 14000 environmental standards: a step-by-step implementation guide, 15(1/2), 60-66. [online] Available from: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/Insight/viewPDF.jsp?contentType=Article&Filename=html/ Output/Published/EmeraldFullTextArticle/Pdf/0510150108.pdf [Accessed 07 jan 2009]
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