The key output is a populated Sustainability Register which includes all identified opportunities and risks, supporting SD Balance Sheets schematically showing the positive and negative sustainability impacts, plus action plans for progressing key sustainability initiatives.

Example SD Balance Sheet™

The Sustainability Register has been designed to interface with registers in existing project management systems. This ensures that the outcomes from applying SUSOP are integrated into the project development process and are not just “good ideas” that do not get implemented.


• Reduced tailings facility and increased water recycling resulting in 20% reduction in capital costs - Concept project in Australia


• Identified alternative energy and workforce initiatives to lower operating costs and strengthen the business case - Concept project in West Africa 

• Replaced proposed reverse osmosis plant with wetland delivering better financial and environmental outcomes – Pre-feasibility project in South America

• Helped accelerate the approvals process for a new mine - Feasibility project in Australia

• Elicited key environmental and social risks for a feasibility phase study on a chemical plant – Feasibility project in South America.

SUSOP - SUStainable OPerations

The project opportunities and threats approach – SUSOP – is to sustainability what safety and hazard analysis techniques (such as HAZOP) are to engineering design.

Somewhat analogous to HAZOP which brought a design methodology to safety,
SUSOP brings a design methodology to sustainability.

SUSOP is a structured process of multi-disciplinary workshops and supporting analysis conducted at the early phases (concept,pre-feasibility and feasibility) of industrial projects (mining, chemical, energy, oil and gas). At the heart of SUSOP is a systematic and rigorous step-by-step procedure. This ensures critical environmental, community and social issues are identified and then translated into real operating designs and practices, which deliver new innovative solutions. Importantly, SUSOP does not compromise financial outcomes.


By applying SUSOP, your project can benefit from:

• Faster project approvals and streamlined EIA/SIA processes

• Reduced likelihood of costly project delays

• Reduced capital and operating costs through innovative solutions

• A strengthened “licence to operate” with stakeholders

• Reduced water consumption, lower energy use and less waste production


SUSOP was developed through Cooperative Research Centre for Sustainable Minerals Processing, a multi-year collaborative research effort between industry and research organisations, including the University of Queensland. It is now a process delivered by practitioners associated with the Sustainable Minerals Institute at The University of Queensland.


“SUSOP allows me to use my knowledge and experience beyond the confines of my own area of special expertise – It takes me out of my discipline and  

lets me be a whole person”

Process Design Engineer

“SUSOP is the best framework that I have ever used to bring together all aspects of a project”
Operations Manager

“SUSOP allowed us to identify risks and opportunities for our project that we would not otherwise have been aware”
Project Director

“SUSOP will deliver more timely project approvals”
Senior Regulator

“The SUSOP process added real value to our project”
Project Owner