Conservation Authorities (CAs) in Ontario are challenged with improving the sustainability of road planning and design through their programs and policies under the Ontario Environmental Assessment Act (OEAA) and the CA Act. This study examines whether CAs should endorse the voluntary Envision Infrastructure Sustainability Rating System to supplement their roles under the OEAA and the CA Act and regulations.
This study applied Envision to a sample of 13 municipal road projects through a standardized document review. It found that Envision was able to differentiate between more and less sustainable road projects, that award achievement required sustainable actions beyond those which are standard practice, and that Envision is appropriate to apply to road projects that are planned through the Municipal Class Environmental Assessment process of the OEAA. This study concludes that the Envision framework has the potential to significantly improve the sustainability of road projects and should be endorsed by CAs.