Members: Login Here

Forgot your password?Create account?

{Past Event} - Design & Construction Series: Sustainable Return on Investment: Calculating Your Triple Bottom Line

December 11, 2009 - 4:00 pm - December 11, 2009 - 4:00 pm -- Eastern Standard Time


Conventional wisdom has always asserted that financial and social goals were in opposition: economic development versus environmental protection was always framed as a zero sum game. However, today we are quickly realizing that the real opportunity lies in the “blended value” model in which organizations achieve economic success while acting in a sustainable and socially responsible manner.

Corporate social responsibility is the idea that organizations should consider the interests of society by accounting for the impact of their actions on customers, employees, shareholders, their communities and other stakeholders – including the environment. While there has been talk about responsible corporate citizenship, and there have indeed been tangible examples of its implementation, for the most part the discussion has not translated into a systematic action plan. If positive and negative externalities (social and environmental impacts) resulting from company operations were quantified, managers and investors could design, manage and fund organizations that maximized the combined financial and social returns.

Traditionally “green” or sustainable strategy decisions have been driven by the desire to limit start-up costs. Even as sustainable design enters the mainstream, the discipline still faces challenges related to cost. Practitioners often have difficulty in quantifying and accurately portraying the wide array of costs and benefits that can accrue to society through the sustainable strategies that are being considered.

Most professionals in the Architecture, Engineering and Construction industry rely on basic financial tools to quantify the first costs of sustainable projects and to show the financial return on investment (or FROI) of sustainable strategy benefits. The first instance where these traditional methods often fall short is in the accurate quantification of the benefits that accrue to society as a whole as a result of these decisions. The second instance where traditional tools fall short is that they fail to incorporate the element of risk. Sustainable project decisions require the forecasting of future costs and benefits and these are subject to uncertainty, which is typically not captured by conventional methods.

A better solution exists for evaluating a project’s triple bottom line – the project’s economic, environmental and social value today and into the future. By combining economic assessment with probability analysis, the project team can quickly capture all of the costs and benefits associated with a project while accurately demonstrating the likelihood of achieving the benefits related to a given alternative or group of alternatives. We call this HDR’s Sustainable Return on Investment (SROI) process.

HDR’s SROI process takes into account the entire scope of potential costs and benefits related to sustainable design, while simultaneously incorporating a risk analysis component over the project’s life cycle. These include traditional inputs such as savings on the water bill, but also more esoteric inputs such as quantifying the environmental savings from reduced carbon emissions, or the value of enhanced productivity from employees working in a green building (e.g. fewer sick days or performing a task more efficiently).

Construction SpecialtiesSponsor

Creating products that make buildings better.

Sponsors and co-sponsors do not participate in planning, developing and implementing the educational activity.


  • Learn how SROI can help project teams receive or locate funding for projects
  • Learn how SROI can be used to help make optimal sustainable decisions considering the entire triple bottom line of their project or group of potential projects
  • Learn how SROI can be used to help prove their sustainable stewardship to their various stakeholders
  • Demonstrate benefits of the SROI process on healthcare projects with multiple sustainable drivers


Lidia Berger, IIDA, LEED AP, VP, HDR, Inc.
Lidia Berger has spent over 15 years of her professional career in the Nation’s Capital. During the last seven years, she has been working for HDR (an employee owned) architectural, engineering and consulting firm founded back in 1917. She is a nationally known speaker, noted for her leadership roles in several industry organizations. Lidia was one of the founding members of the USGBC National Capital Region Chapter in 1999. She was involved in the development of the LEED CI rating system and served on the LEED EB (Existing Buildings) Core Committee charged with developing the LEED rating system for existing buildings. Ms. Berger received her Master of Environmental Management – Leadership in Environmental Policy Degree from Duke University.

Stephane Larocque, MBA, , HDR, Inc.
Stephane Larocque brings more than a decade of experience in applied finance and economics in both the private and public sectors, complemented with an MBA‐Finance. He is the Practice Group Leader for HDR’s Sustainable Return on Investment (SROI) process, which emphasizes environmental and social benefits such as reduced green house gas emissions. Throughout his career he has excelled in a wide variety of disciplines most notably: business case analysis, cost‐benefit analysis, cost‐risk analysis, toll feasibility studies, economic impact analysis and regulatory filings. Stephane has also successfully managed teams performing a wide variety of economic studies on projects throughout North America.

Webinar speakers have no financial or other interest in the sponsoring company and the sponsor has had no input into the content of the presentation.

Member-Only Event Files

  • Please log in as a Member first to see the files associated with this event.

Join Practice Greenhealth

Practice Greenhealth is the nation’s leading membership and networking organization for institutions in the healthcare community that have made a commitment to sustainable, eco-friendly practices.

Join Practice Greenhealth
Sitemap (click to minimize or expand)