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Media Release | Common Infrastructure Principles Could Catalyse a New Era of Sustainable Infrastructure

MEDIA RELEASE: Common Infrastructure Principles Could Catalyse a New Era of Sustainable Infrastructure

Thursday 8 October, Sydney: Ten common principles for an infrastructure-led recovery could catalyse a new era of sustainable infrastructure, says ISCA.

Infrastructure Australia released the 10 principles last week to guide government and industry response to COVID-19 and support the transformation of Australia’s economy to the ‘new normal’.

Announcing the principles, Infrastructure Australia’s Chief Executive Officer Romilly Madew said they would inform the development of the 2021 Australian Infrastructure Plan, “which aims to guide Australia’s long-term recovery response and provide a blueprint for lasting reform”.

The principles include selecting projects and reform initiatives that enhance productivity, improve sustainability, build resilience or encourage innovation, as well as coordinated action on climate change and other disasters.

“We applaud the collaborative effort by the independent infrastructure bodies and counterparts in NT and the ACT on the leadership and long-term vision to champion projects and reforms that look beyond short-term stimulus,” says Ainsley Simpson, Chief Executive Officer of ISCA.

“The infrastructure we build today in response to COVID-19 will still be operating in 2050. By this point, Australia will need to be at net zero emissions, so we are particularly pleased to see Infrastructure Australia’s principles call out the importance of coordinated action on climate change.”

In March, ISCA, ASBEC and ClimateWorks published Reshaping infrastructure for a net zero emissions future, which found infrastructure contributes around 70 per cent of Australia’s annual greenhouse gas emissions.

“By embedding sustainability into decision-making at the earliest stages of projects we can consider whole-of-life outcomes of infrastructure. We have clear evidence that sustainable infrastructure projects not only deliver better environmental outcomes, but also maximise social, cultural and economic benefits.”

Independent analysis undertaken by RPS Group, IS Rating Scheme Return on Investment, finds infrastructure projects rated under the IS Rating Scheme will deliver up to $2.40 in benefit for every dollar spent.

IS-certified as-built assets have delivered accumulated reductions of 14% in energy, 27% in water and 31% in materials when compared to declared baselines.

“An infrastructure-led recovery from COVID-19 can create jobs and build community assets. It can also enhance the productivity, sustainability, resilience and innovation of our nation,” Ms Simpson concludes.

Download the ISCA’s full cost benefit analysis, executive summary and business case for sustainable investment: