Impact Assessment Outlook Journal


The Impact Assessment Outlook Journal is a quarterly publication that draws together thought pieces on different aspects of practice.

View our latest Outlook Journal volumes:

Volume 19: Ecology, Biodiversity Net Gain and Natural Capital in Impact Assessment

This nineteenth edition of the Impact Assessment Outlook Journal provides a series of thought pieces on ecology, Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) and Natural Capital in Impact Assessment. In this edition, the Guest Editor, James Sanders, has selected six articles produced by IEMA professionals and EIA experts. The result is a valuable yet quick read across some of the different aspects of UK and international practice exploring ecology, BNG and natural Capital in Impact Assessment.

This publication benefits from contributions from multiple expert practitioners from IEMA EIA Quality Mark consultancies and others on a huge variety of projects with ecology as the common theme. As a group, the articles are a valuable read across some of the different aspects of UK and international practice, exploring Impact Assessment and ecology, the issues, methods and potential futures.

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Volume 18: Considering the Water Environment in Impact Assessment

This eighteenth edition of the Impact Assessment Outlook Journal provides a series of thought pieces on the water environment in Impact Assessment. In this edition, the Guest Editor, Lewis Jenkins, has selected eight articles produced by IEMA professionals and EIA experts. The result is a valuable yet quick read across some of the different aspects of UK and international practice exploring water in Impact Assessment.

This publication benefits from contributions from multiple expert practitioners from IEMA EIA Quality Mark consultancies and others on a huge variety of projects with water as the common theme. The result is a valuable read across some of the different aspects of UK and international practice, exploring Impact Assessment and water, the issues, methods and potential futures.

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Volume 17: Habitat Regulations Assessment

This seventeenth edition of the Impact Assessment Outlook Journal provides a series of thought pieces on the policy and practice of Habitat Regulations Assessment (HRA). In this edition, the Guest Editor, Ursula Stevenson, has selected seven articles produced by IEMA professionals and invited experts. The result is a valuable yet quick read across some of the different aspects of UK and international practice exploring the policy and practice of HRA.

This publication benefits from contributions from the Office of Environmental Protection, multiple expert practitioners from IEMA EIA Quality Mark consultancies, a leading IA academic, as well as a comparative international perspective from Malta. The result is a valuable read across some of the different aspects of UK and international practice, exploring HRA, its strengths, issues, and potential futures.

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Volume 16: EIA as a Design Tool and Consideration of Alternatives - June 2023

This sixteenth edition of the Impact Assessment Outlook Journal provides a series of thought pieces on EIA as a Design Tool, and the consideration of Alternatives. In this edition, the Guest Editors, Alister Kratt and Peta Donkin, have selected six articles and two interviews produced by IEMA professionals and invited experts. The result is a valuable yet quick read across some of the different aspects of UK and international practice exploring EIA as a design tool and the consideration of alternatives.

The journal brings together a collection of articles on the importance of design and the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process, defining and securing project outcomes and the role of EIA coordinators. A number of the articles explore the consideration of alternatives as part of the EIA process, including the implications of the emerging Environmental Outcomes Report Regulations.

This publication benefits from conversations with two of the UK’s leading experts in design and forward-thinking that bookend the articles: Professor Sadie Morgan OBE, on the importance of design and the design process; and Professor Dame Julia King, in relation to the climate emergency, a systems approach and the need for behavioural change - a call to the professions to fully engage in climate and environmental leadership.

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Volume 15: Public Participation, Stakeholder Engagement and Impact Assessment - February 2023

Public participation is fundamental to Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). However, compliance with the basic legislative requirements for consultation is one thing, but to be effective, engagement must also be carefully planned, tailored to each proposal and Impact Assessment (IA) process, and follow some well-established principles.

This volume sets out some of these principles and asks questions about why, how, and with whom engagement is necessary, and what makes for good practice engagement on the ground, including the use of a wide range of techniques to meet various engagement objectives. In particular, the current government review of the environmental assessment regimes in England and Northern Ireland, and the potential introduction of Environmental Outcome Reports, gives a unique opportunity for reflection on the state of practice in these jurisdictions.

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Volume 14: ESG in International Markets - August 2022

The concept of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) has emerged as a key area of impact assessment practice and builds on the past 50 years of practice in identifying and managing the social issues of project development, investments and organisations.

IEMA are delighted to publish Volume 14 of the Outlook Journal to inspire practitioners working in ESG in international markets. Vol 14 focuses on the evolution, challenges, and innovation of ESG in international markets and has been produced by IEMA’s Global Environmental and Social Assessment (GESA) steering group.

In this edition, the Guest Editor (Claire Cummins) has drawn together six articles produced by members of the GESA that provides insights into the background and evolution of ESG as a discipline, along with some of the key concepts, trends, tools and practices.

From a practitioner’s perspective, as we seek to tackle the climate and nature emergency at the same time as major global social and economic upheaval, the role of impact assessment and ESG is more important now than ever before.

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Volume 13: Social Impact Assessment - April 2022

Social Impact Assessment (SIA) has emerged as a key area of impact assessment practice over the past 40 years and has been described by the International Association of Impact Assessment (IAIA) as being the process of identifying and managing the social issues of project development and includes the effective engagement of affected communities in participatory processes of identification, assessment, and management of social impacts.

IEMA are delighted to publish Volume 13 of the Outlook Journal to inspire practitioners on Social Impact Assessment (SIA). This Volume provides examples of practice from across the UK, Ireland and international practice and seeks to challenge practitioners to move their approaches forward, embracing opportunities for innovation.

Given the twin pressures of climate and nature emergency at the same time as major societal upheaval, the role of SIA should be more important now than ever before. However, practice in the UK and Ireland has not kept pace with SIA practice internationally with variable and often poor consideration of social impacts on affected communities and vulnerable groups within much of EIA practice.

In this thirteenth volume of the Impact Assessment Outlook Journal, the articles explore examples of social impact assessment to aid practitioners through guidance and advice on this complex area of practice. Created in partnership with the IEMA Socail Impact Assessment working group and Guest Edited by Eddie Smyth (Intersocial Limited (Ireland)). This IA Outlook Journal is a welcome addition for anyone working within, or interested in, social impact assessment.

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Volume 12: Strategic Impact Assessment - March 2022

Strategic Impact Assessment (IA) is a term which covers a broad range of IA approaches aimed at improving the sustainability performance of policies, plans and programmes, this includes, but is not limited to Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), Sustainability Appraisal (SA) and Integrated Impact Assessment (IIA) approaches. IEMA are delighted to publish Volume 12 of the Outlook Journal to inspire practitioners on Strategic IA. This Volume provides an outline of present practice and seeks to challenge practitioners to move their approaches forward, embracing opportunities for innovation.

Given the urgent need to tackle the climate and nature emergency, the role of Strategic IA should be more important now than ever before. However, we still see patchy implementation, variable quality and reluctance to use Strategic IA in many areas. It is critical that sustainability is embedded into policy and programme making and is used to influence and shape them. We are at a pivotal moment for the planet and for practitioners in this field.

In this twelfth volume of the Impact Assessment Outlook Journal, the articles explore the consideration of strategic impact assessment to aid practitioners through guidance and advice on this complex area of practice. Created in partnership with the IEMA Strategic Impact Assessment working group and Guest Edited by Ellie Askham (Environment Agency) and Josh Fothergill (Fothergill Training and Consulting). This IA Outlook Journal is a welcome addition for anyone working within, or interested in, strategic impact assessment.

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Volume 11: Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment - October 2021

The pandemic has reinforced the importance of local green space and community spaces across the British Isles and globally. Furthermore, a focus on quality is increasingly featuring in planning debates in England, with an updated National Planning Policy Framework, National Design Guide and National Model Design Code all emphasizing the importance of quality, place-based design. In terms of planning and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), the consideration of landscape and visual impact assessment (LVIA) can be a contentious and disputed area of practice. The UK and Ireland have world renowned natural and built heritage and an incredible variety of landscapes. Thankfully, guidance on this area of practice is well developed with an established methodology presented in the third edition of the Landscape Institute and IEMA’s Guidelines for Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment (GLVIA).

This eleventh edition of the Impact Assessment Outlook Journal is a collaboration between IEMA and the Landscape Institute and provides a series of thought pieces on landscape and visual impact assessment. In this edition, the Guest Editor (Rebecca Knight, Chair of the GLVIA Panel of the Landscape Institute) has selected seven articles produced by landscape professionals. The result is a collection of valuable insights into some of the key current topics in landscape and visual impact assessment.

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Volume 10: Marine and Coastal Impact Assessment - July 2021

The UK is a maritime nation with a coastline around 8000 miles long, over 1000 islands, and nowhere onshore is more than 70 miles from the coast. The consideration of human impacts on the marine environmental is an expanding frontier of EIA best practice and has seen a marked increase in activity in recent decades, in particular from the development of offshore wind, in which the UK is a world leader.

However, guidance on this area of practice is less well developed than many terrestrial aspects, and a variety of methodologies are often adopted by different practitioners and in different sectors. In this tenth volume of the Impact Assessment Outlook Journal, the articles explore the consideration of marine and coastal impact assessment and consenting.

Marine and Coastal Impact Assessment seeks to aid practitioners through guidance and advice on this complex area of practice. Created in partnership with the IEMA Impact Assessment Network Steering Group and Guest Edited by Kathryn Collins, Principal Consultant at Howell Marine Consulting. This IA Outlook Journal is a welcome addition for anyone working within, or interested in, marine and coastal impact assessment.

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Volume 9: Careers and Skills in Impact Assessment - May 2021

“From its origins in the United States National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, Impact Assessment has expanded to over 40 different forms and is now practiced in every country in the world.”
Dr. Rufus Howard FIEMA CEnv

Impact Assessment is an important tool that is used in a wide range of activities including policy development, decision making, spatial planning, development control, due diligence and financial transactions. However, with over 40 different forms of Impact Assessment practiced globally, Impact Assessment is more than a tool for sustainability and environmental protection, it is also an academic and professional discipline, and for many practitioners, a career.

Careers and Skills in Impact Assessment provides insight into the views of current practitioners reflecting on this topic area. Created in partnership with the IEMA Impact Assessment Network Steering Group and Guest Edited by Amy Robinson, Director at RPS, this IA Outlook Journal is a welcome addition for anyone working within, or interested in, Careers and Skills in Impact Assessment.

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Volume 8: Health Impact Assessment in Planning - October 2020

“The historic consideration of human health in EIA has often been too narrow in scope. New techniques are now being implemented to improve and widen the scope of human health assessment in EIA practice to better capture potentially significant health effects.”
Dr. Rufus Howard FIEMA CEnv

Planning and the EIA process requires the consideration of populations and human health to be undertaken. However, guidance on this area of practice is sparse, and a variety of methodologies are adopted by different practitioners. In this eighth volume of the Impact Assessment Outlook Journal, the articles explore the use of Health Impact Assessment (HIA) as a planning tool as well as the consideration of health in EIA.

This eighth volume from the series brings together a selection of articles on HIA in planning. With the world still in the midst of the Covid-19 global pandemic, a focus on health has never been more relevant. This edition explores mechanisms by which health may be better integrated into the planning system through the implementation of standalone HIA or as an integral part of EIA.

Health Impact Assessment in Planning seeks to aid practitioners through guidance and advice on this complex area of practice. Created in partnership with the IEMA Impact Assessment Network Steering Group and Guest Edited by Joanna Bagley, Senior Associate Director at Waterman. This IA Outlook Journal is a welcome addition for anyone working within, or interested in, Health Impact Assessment and Planning.

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Volume 7: Demystifying Cumulative Effects - July 2020

The EIA process requires the consideration of cumulative effects to be undertaken. However, guidance on this area of practice is often lacking, and a variety of methodologies are adopted by different practitioners. Broadly speaking, CEA falls into two strands, the first being to ensure that the effects of the project are considered cumulatively alongside those of other proposed developments in geographic proximity to the project, and then secondly, to ensure that cumulative effects are considered for a single receptor (i.e. people, wildlife or the physical environment) where multiple impacts (i.e. noise, air quality, traffic and visual impacts) are predicted to arise from the scheme.

Due to the potential complexity involved in assessing cumulative effects, Volume 7 of our Impact Assessment Outlook Journal series explores these issues and provides guidance for practitioners.

This seventh volume from the series focusses on CEA in EIA and seeks to aid practitioners through guidance and advice on this complex area of practice. Created in partnership with the IEMA Impact Assessment Network Steering Group and Guest Edited by Andy Mitchell, Associate at Arup. This IA Outlook Journal is a treasure trove for anyone working within, or interested in, Cumulative Effects Assessment.

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Volume 6: Digital Impact Assessment in Practice - May 2020

What does Digital Impact Assessment look like in practice and how are organisations embracing innovation and digital? Volume 6 of our Impact Assessment Outlook Journal series explores these questions and provides examples drawn from practice.

This sixth edition of the Impact Assessment Outlook Journal focusses on how Digital Impact Assessment is being implemented in practice and what measures and approaches practitioners working on Digital Impact Assessment would recommend for those interesting in applying it themselves.

Created specifically for this edition of the Outlook Journal by members of the IEMA Digital Impact Assessment working group and Guest Edited by Tom Gold, Senior Consultant at WSP. This digital journal is perfect for anyone working within, or interested in, Impact Assessment.

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Volume 5: Flexibility in EIA - February 2020

Town and Country Planning allows a variety of flexible permissions to be sought for EIA Development, from outline planning applications, subsequent reserved matters to minor material amendments and non-material amendments. However, ensuring the EIA process is robust and transparent alongside these flexible instruments is not always straightforward. Volume 5 of our Impact Assessment Outlook Journal series explores these issues and provides examples drawn from practice.

This fifth volume from the series focusses on flexibility in EIA and in particular with regard to the tricky area of ensuring EIA is adequately undertaken alongside the more flexible forms of planning permissions such as, material changes, non-material changes, outline permissions and reserved matters. Created in partnership with the IEMA Impact Assessment Network Steering Group and Guest Edited by Clare Richmond, EIA Officer at the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. This digital journal is perfect for anyone working within, or interested in, Impact Assessment.

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Volume 4: Perspectives on net gain in EIA - October 2019

How has the concept of net gain evolved and how does it relate to EIA? Volume 4 of our Impact Assessment Outlook Journal series explores this question and provides examples drawn from practice.

This fourth volume from the series focuses on the evolution of concepts such as biodiversity offsetting, net gain and ecosystem services and how they can be embraced by EIA.

Created in partnership with the IEMA Impact Assessment Network Steering Group and Guest Edited by Emma Magee, Senior Environmental Project Manager at the Environment Agency., this digital journal is perfect for anyone working within, or interested in, Impact Assessment.

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Volume 3: Perspectives upon renewable energy and EIA - September 2019

What are some of the important aspects to consider when undertaking the EIA process for renewable energy projects? Volume 3 of our Impact Assessment Outlook Journal series explores this question and provides solutions drawn from practice.

This third volume from the series focuses on the different challenges and opportunities facing renewable energy in relation to EIA projects. What are the key ingredients for a successful project?

Created in partnership with the IEMA Impact Assessment Network Steering Group and Guest Edited by Lisa Mugan, Senior Consultant at Hydrock, this digital journal is perfect for anyone working within, or interested in, Impact Assessment.

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Volume 2: Perspectives upon Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects and Development Consent Orders - April 2019

How can practitioners overcome the challenges associated with the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects regime? Volume 2 of our new IEMA publication explores this question and provides solutions drawn from practice.

This second volume from the series focuses on the challenges associated with the planning regime for Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects and Development Consent Orders. What were they and how can they be overcome?

Completed in partnership with the IEMA Impact Assessment Network Steering Group and Guest Edited by David Hoare, IEMA IA Network Steering Group member, IEMA North West Regional Network member and Associate Director at WSP, this digital journal is perfect for anyone working within, or interested in, Impact Assessment.

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Volume 1: Perspectives upon Proportionate EIA - December 2018

How can the EIA process and resulting Environmental Statements become more focused, effective and efficient? A brand new IEMA publication explores this question and provides solutions drawn from practice.

This first volume from the series focuses on the drive towards proportionate EIA, the challenges, opposing forces, maintaining high performance in ES production and ensuring effective outcomes are delivered for the environment, developer and communities.

Created in partnership with the IEMA Impact Assessment Network Steering Group and Guest Edited by Josh Fothergill FIEMA, this digital journal is perfect for anyone working within, or interested in, Impact Assessment.

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