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Source: New Zealand Transport Agency

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is partnering with the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA) network to deliver sustainable outcomes across land transport infrastructure projects.

Transport investments and activities have a long-lasting impact on our environment (people, places and planet). In April 2020, Waka Kotahi released a sustainability action plan, Toitū Te Taiao, that sets a vision for a low carbon, safe and healthy land transport system.

“We want to support our future generations by driving more sustainable outcomes and innovations now. This is hugely important to us as we design and deliver improvements to the transport system with our partners,” says Brett Gliddon, General Manager Transport Services Waka Kotahi.

Toitū Te Taiao is a significant program of change that will be delivered in partnership with others. One of these partnerships is with ISCA.

“This is a powerful symbol of progress towards sustainable infrastructure in Aotearoa New Zealand,” says ISCA’s CEO Ainsley Simpson.

“We are delighted to celebrate and tautoko the leadership of Waka Kotahi. After several years of partnership, we are excited that Waka Kotahi is amplifying its planning, infrastructure management and procurement levers to drive system-wide change.”

Waka Kotahi has released an update to Sustainability Rating Scheme Policy signalling a move to the ISCA-IS Rating Scheme for capital projects over $15m. The ISCA scheme assesses all aspects of sustainability including governance, economic, environmental and social outcomes.

Sustainability Rating Scheme Policy

“The decision to meet best practice benchmarks for sustainability promises to deliver dividends for communities at a time when infrastructure spending can support economic recovery,” Ms Simpson adds.

One of the key changes for Waka Kotahi will be the engagement of sustainability ratings from the early business case stage right through to construction.

”Applying the ISCA rating scheme gives us the opportunity to collaborate more with industry, push for more sustainable outcomes and develop our own practices to more effectively deliver for our communities and our environment, now and in the future. We are excited about the opportunities the ISCA tool will give us to consider what is possible from a sustainability perspective for our projects,” says Mr Gliddon.

ISCA’s study, IS Rating Scheme Return on Investment, finds infrastructure projects rated under the IS Rating Scheme deliver up to NZ$2.60 in benefit for every dollar spent.

ISCA’s independently verified data confirms, IS-certified as-built assets have delivered accumulated reductions of 14% in energy, 27% in water and 31% in materials when compared to standard practice.

Waka Kotahi will work with ISCA to provide information and training to internal and external stakeholders in coming months.

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