Embracing innovation and digital working in the impact assessment process

Environmental assessments are a vital part of the design and approval process for all scales of infrastructure projects. At Stantec, we support our clients through the effective use of collaborative digital solutions that are applied throughout the environmental impact assessment (EIA) process.

Through digital EIA, our technical experts collect and review environmental data to develop an understanding of the environmental and social impacts of your projects early in the planning stage. This empowers you to make informed decisions that protect and enhance the natural environment and meet UK regulations.

Digital tools and technologies including geographic information systems (GIS) and augmented reality have long been embedded in our impact assessment practices. We are at the forefront of assessment practices, enhancing community and stakeholder engagement strategies, and introducing new digital innovations so that we can deliver cost-effective, time-efficient impact assessments.

Stantec's Digital Tools & Technology

Mobile mapping applications Stantec leverages the capabilities of ESRI’s ArcGIS Online and accompanying applications such as Collector, Survey123, and Field Maps to create custom mobile mapping applications that are appropriate for impact assessment data collection.
Drones Stantec has several qualified Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) drone pilots who are currently collecting valuable visual information to show construction progress and undertake remote inspections of assets that present access difficulties such as
Cloud based data storage Stantec maintains a central data hub of the various local and national designations, facilities, and infrastructure as well as socio-economic and utility information that form the baseline for all impact assessment work.
Automation/conversion tools Using the information made available in the central data hub, alongside additional information from our clients, we’ve developed a variety of tools that help automate the process of map and figure generation for standard reporting.
Zone of Theoretical Visibility Analysis Stantec uses GIS analytics to identify the likely extent of the visibility of a proposed development, testing the elevation of the development against a 3D terrain model.
Emissions Analysis Using the latest traffic data and road networks Stantec can analyse travel patterns, model commuting behaviour and estimate CO2 emissions resulting from current and future car-based trips.
Journey time analysis We use the latest public transport data—timetables, road and footpath networks, traffic, and real-time tracking—to quanitfy travel patterns and journey times.
Constraints Screening & Options appraisal We’ve developed a more innovative approach to screening for constraints and undertaking options appraisals. Our approach allows us to collectively review the constraints rather than having to review them individually.
Interactive web maps / story maps Stantec uses ESRI’s ArcGIS Online and associated applications to create interactive web maps and story maps to help tell a story about a project.

Digital Impact Assessments

Digital impact assessments are more than just innovative methods of reporting, they’re about using digital practices throughout the impact assessment process. This includes EIA and other assessments, such as strategic environmental assessments (SEA), sustainability appraisals (SA), health impact assessments (HIA), habitats regulations assessments (HRA), and other non-statutory assessments.



A digital impact assessment is a collection of collaborative digital solutions that are applied throughout the impact assessment process. Taking the EIA process as an example, we can use digital methods throughout that process, from data collection and surveys to modelling, visuals, and analysis.

They can also be used throughout the project lifecycle and continue through the discharge of conditions, construction, operation, and decommissioning of projects.

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Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEA)

We take a collaborative approach to environmental assessment which ensures integrated advice that manages key risks and issues and addresses stakeholder concerns, engendering support and leading to better commercial and environmental outcomes. Our specialist team works collaboratively with our technical experts to ensure all necessary environmental considerations guide the development of programmes and policies.

Health Impact Assessments (HIA)

We have 10 years of experience in HIA, and we’re shaping emerging practice through our work with the Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment (IEMA) and Public Health England to develop national guidelines for assessing health in EIA. Our approach reflects changes in policy and an increasing evidence base, using leading-edge tools and techniques.

Sustainability Appraisals (SA)

Our sustainability consultants have wide-ranging knowledge and practical experience in contributing to the delivery of sustainable land development and infrastructure projects. As a multidisciplinary team, we work effectively with all technical disciplines to ensure sustainability is embedded within scheme design. We engage with planning authorities, design teams, and other environmental specialists to develop and complete frameworks for appraising sustainable development and strategies for delivery.

Habitats Regulations Assessments (HRA)

Our team undertakes assessments of plans and projects where European protected sites may be affected, always completing to best practice and recent legal precedent. As appropriate, these core environmental assessment services are complemented by additional assessments in lighting, flood risk, Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM), and sustainability. Our excellence in environmental assessment is acknowledged by the Institute of Environmental Management of Assessment through our EIA Quality Mark.
Expert Spotlight

Gemma Stubbs, Senior GIS Consultant

Understanding the interconnectivity between people and place is crucial in helping us to tackle our most complex environmental challenges.

Gemma Stubbs

Senior GIS Consultant

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