“Do No Significant Harm” and climate-proofing analysis

The background:

Development Centre SA Võrumaa Arenduskeskus is an organization operating in Võru County, focusing on regional development and business support. They wished to apply for a grant to finance the development of a new school, kood/Võru (Code/Võru), and a student accommodation facility in Võru city center. 

The grant application required two climate assessments: climate proofing and “Do No Significant Harm” (DNSH) to ensure the project’s alignment with the European Union’s sustainability agenda.

Aim of the project:

To gather the necessary information for the evaluations, a structured, context-specific data collection form was created. It assisted the client in providing the required information for both projects: school and accommodation facility development, which involved the restoration of existing buildings.

The goal of the climate-proofing assessment was to ensure that the infrastructure project would not have negative impacts on climate adaptation efforts, considering climatic changes over its expected lifetime of 50 years.

To demonstrate that the project met the first objective, a greenhouse gas assessment was conducted, considering the emissions from the school and accommodation facility over a single year. In both cases, the resulting emissions were greatly below the set threshold of 20,000 tons of CO2 equivalent per year. It meant that there was no need for further in-depth evaluation. 

When evaluating the project’s resilience to climate change, potential risks were identified through sensitivity, exposure, and vulnerability analysis. This assessment also considered the mitigation activities included in the project plans. As no significant risks were identified, it was concluded that the planned projects met the conditions for climate resiliency.

Services provided:

  • Creation of a structured, context-specific data collection form.
  • Climate-proofing assessment.
  • Greenhouse gas assessment.
  • Evaluation of the project’s resilience to climate change to identify present and future risks.

Project result:

The goal of the DNSH assessment was to ensure and demonstrate that the planned project would not harm any of the six environmental objectives. Based on the received input, compliance with each environmental objective was successfully demonstrated for both projects. 

This work resulted in four reports of climate-proofing and DNSH evaluations for both infrastructure projects, enabling the client to proceed with the funding application.