Impact assessment (IA) is evolving to reflect shifts in corporate, financial, and sustainability thinking as well as new societal expectations. Major project proponents need to consider the communities those projects will affect. Engaging with communities encourages meaningful involvement and can help build trusted, productive relationships. But measuring the success of that engagement and sustaining it over time can be challenging.
This issue briefing looks at best practices in community engagement that consider gender, equity, reconciliation, net zero transitions, and sustainability as integral to the IA process. It identifies three domains of engagement—impact, quality, and connection to net zero transitions—that communities and proponents of major projects can use to adopt and adapt sustainability indicators that reflect their unique values and needs. Finally, the briefing suggests that using a “playbook”—a toolkit to guide decision-making—can help direct proponents and communities into an effective, measured engagement relationship.