The BLF aimed to encourage and enable applicant organisations to incorporate sustainable development into the design of their projects. They needed guidance for use in appraisal of the sustainable development aspects of applications for capital projects and appointed Gaia to assist.
Gaia was able to develop a framework of Sustainability Guidelines and to train generic grants officers, rather than specialists, to appraise the sustainable development aspects of the applications for capital projects.
The framework is transparent, setting out best, good and poor practice. It encourages applicants to explain how their project seeks to address sustainable development from the briefing, during the design stage, during delivery and as an ongoing activity. The framework enables grants officers to make a measured, informed objective assessment of the answers received to questions about sustainable development.
This experience identified the need for a guidance note to inform funding applicants of best practice in sustainable design and management of capital spend projects and to indicate what they might aspire to. This took the form of a guidance note on best practice sustainable community projects.