Infrastructure Australia has released new guiding principles to promote sustainability across the infrastructure sector.
Infrastructure Australia Chief Executive Romilly Madew said the organisation’s role requires it to help ensure the benefits of sustainability are harnessed.
“With this in mind, we have developed new Sustainability Principles to guide our own approach to sustainability and drive change across the sector. Ultimately, we want to ensure that community needs are properly understood and met through the efficient delivery of sustainable infrastructure,” Madew said.
“Infrastructure needs to consider sustainability due to the scale of investments, the long life of assets and the potential impact projects can have on communities. This has only been amplified in an age of increasing uncertainty, resource scarcity, disruption, climate change and extreme weather events. It is now critical that infrastructure is delivered in a manner which produces sustainable outcomes.”
The principles aim to balance social, economic, environmental and governance outcomes to help communities to be functioning and fair while not adversely impacting future generations and the planet.
The principles include:
- Infrastructure and policies should improve quality-of-life, access and wellbeing, to create an inclusive and fair society.
- Infrastructure and policies should grow productivity, the Australian economy and allow equitable access to economic and growth opportunities, while efficiently using financial resources.
- Infrastructure and policies should protect environmental outcomes by reducing pollution, balancing resource consumption, conserving natural ecosystems and resources, and supporting climate mitigation and adaptation.
- Infrastructure and policies should build trust in governance and institutions through transparent, accountable and inclusive decision-making.
Infrastructure Australia hopes the Sustainability Principles will provide clear strategic direction to governments at all levels and the infrastructure sector around how to promote sustainable infrastructure and better community outcomes.
“Sustainability is already a key consideration in our reform and investment recommendations. In publishing these new guiding Principles, we are making an even greater commitment to promote, support, reflect and communicate sustainability across our work,” Madew said.
“The Principles set clear and transparent expectations on how sustainability will be considered in future advice and publications, including the Infrastructure Priority List, revised Infrastructure Australia Assessment Framework and the 2021 Australian Infrastructure Plan.”