“Do No Significant Harm” and climate-proofing analysis of development of school ‘kood/Võru’


Development Centre SA Võrumaa Arenduskeskus

The background:

Development Centre SA Võrumaa Arenduskeskus operates 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 the Võru city centre. 

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.

The essence of the project:

The climate-proofing assessment aimed to ensure that the infrastructure project would not negatively impact climate adaptation efforts, considering climatic changes over its expected lifetime of 50 years.

A structured, context-specific data collection form was created to gather the necessary evaluation information. It assisted the client in providing the required information for school and accommodation facility development, which involved restoring existing buildings.

A greenhouse gas assessment was conducted to demonstrate that the project met the first objective, considering the emissions from the school and accommodation facility over a 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:

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

Project result:

The DNSH assessment aimed to ensure and demonstrate that the planned project would not harm any of the six environmental objectives. Based on the 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.