By Martin Zoffmann
Sustainability has matured from being a widely used buzzword to become something that the global water sector really wants to make more specific and measurable. However, many are still searching for proved methodologies to analyze, document and report on their efforts.
As a newly appointed Sustainability Expert in Ramboll’s global water division, Sarah Brudler is helping municipalities, utilities and other companies in the water sector within this area. A PhD in Environmental Sustainability, Sarah is an expert in life cycle assessment and has also worked with other sustainability methods and frameworks such as the UN's Sustainable Development Goals and planetary boundaries.
“Municipalities, utilities and water companies share an increasing ambition of proving their journeys towards more sustainable water management. By using concrete numbers and case-specific information, as for instance CO2 footprints, we help them make sustainability a measurable parameter that can be optimized and reported on,” says Sarah Brudler.
As an example of sustainability documentation, Sarah Brudler has developed a new, scientifically based framework to quantify the environmental impacts of stormwater management and climate change adaptation. Based on this framework, she has built a tool for calculating environmental impacts of different systems, ranging from traditional stormwater management in pipes and basins to surface based and green-blue solutions.
The tool has been developed in close cooperation with large Danish water utilities and has been tested and applied in different projects. Sarah is not only working with Danish clients, though, as she is born and raised in Germany.