WIT Press

Wa-Pa-Su Project Sustainability Rating System: Assessing Sustainability In Oil Sands And Heavy Oil Projects


Free (open access)





Page Range

115 - 127




2504 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


C. A. Poveda & M. G. Lipsett


A number of environmental and sustainability rating systems have been developed and used around the world. This trend has been most notable in the building industry, where evolution of construction practices and concerns about environmental impact have led to the development of different environmental and sustainability assessment approaches, strategies, models, appraisals, and methodologies. The implementation of green technology and practices has brought economic, social, and environmental benefits with respect to improving sustainable development performance with an accompanying certification process. The framework for developing rating systems for building systems can be extended and applied in other industrial contexts. As global demand for energy continues to rise, unconventional petroleum extraction and production of petroleum substitutes are both becoming more necessary. Development and operation of unconventional oil projects can have considerable social, economic, and environmental impacts. For example, one the largest unconventional oil deposits in the world is the Athabasca oil sands in northern Canada. Government policy makers, industrial developers, and other stakeholders generally work together to develop oil sands projects in an environmentally responsible manner; however, the projects lack of an effective sustainable development measurement tool. The WA-PA-SU project sustainability rating system is a proposed framework for measuring – in a consistent manner – the sustainability of development of unconventional petroleum projects in oil sands and heavy oil. The intent of the rating system is to have a tool that can be used by companies, stakeholders, and policy makers to measure and understand the range of impacts that projects may have over time. This assessment framework includes – but is not limited to –


sustainability assessment, rating systems, oil and gas, oil sands, sustainable development, energy consumption