To show the significant role infrastructure plays in creating a sustainable community, Infrastructure Australia has shared its sustainability principles.
The sustainability principles aim to explain Infrastructure Australia’s approach to sustainability and how sustainability informs its work program.
Sustainable infrastructure protects and preserves the ecological processes required to maintain human health, equity, diversity, and the functioning of natural systems.
It is not just about building new projects, but also about the rehabilitation, reuse, or optimisation of existing infrastructure. Sustainable infrastructure enables economic development and the efficient use of financial resources, while enhancing quality-of-life, and protecting natural resources.
Infrastructure Australia aims to share knowledge, promote good practice and facilitate collaboration and leadership. The company want to put sustainability front and centre, so that meeting the needs of the present doesn’t mean compromising needs of future generations.
And not only future generations – already communities are experiencing the impacts of climate change and the consequences of short-term thinking.
Four components of sustainability
Infrastructure Australia believe sustainable outcomes are achieved when you balance economic, environmental, social and governance outcomes. Balancing outcomes in each of these areas will help communities to be functioning and fair, while not adversely impacting future generations and the planet.
The upcoming 2021 Australian Infrastructure Plan will outline practical and implementable sustainability reforms. These reforms have been informed by close consultation, collaboration and partnerships with industry, peak bodies, governments and the community. Sustainability is a cross-cutting theme that is considered in each chapter of the 2021 plan.
As a national investment pipeline, the Infrastructure Priority List can promote sustainable outcomes by identifying and then endorsing sustainable investment. Capitalising on its national perspective, the 2021 Priority List put front and centre the need for investment in new energy sources and water security.
The next iteration of the assessment framework will provide advice on how Infrastructure Australia assess sustainability and how proponents can consider it in their proposal development.
Images via Infrastructure Australia