29 February 2012 – Australia at long last has a sustainability rating tool for infrastructure that promises to be as transforming as the Green Star rating has been for buildings.
At least that is the vision of the Australian Green Infrastructure Council which today (Wednesday) unveiled the Infrastructure Sustainability rating tool in Canberra.
Launched by the federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Anthony Albanese, the scheme will drive innovation in transport, water and wastewater, energy and communication projects, AGIC chairman David Singleton said.
“It has been four years in development and is designed to continuously improve environmental, social and economic outcomes across the design, construction and operational phases of infrastructure projects and assets,” Mr Singleton said.
The scheme, which measures the sustainability of infrastructure projects across 15 different categories, encompasses the infrastructure sustainability rating tool, a formal assessment process, rating certification and education program.
Mr Singleton said that AGIC now had 80 member companies from Australia’s infrastructure industry, which employed 70,000 people.
Projects and assets will be rated on a 100 point scale. An IS rating in the range of 25-49 is good practice, 50-74 is excellent practice and 75-100 is leading practice.
Mr Singleton likened AGIC’s IS rating to the Green Building Council of Australia’s Green Star rating.
“Just as Green Star has changed building design and functionality, we envisage the IS rating scheme will change the design, construction and performance of Australia’s infrastructure.
“AGIC’s scheme has been embraced by industry and we are keen for governments and private developers across Australia to include the IS rating scheme in infrastructure tenders to provide a common national framework for industry to use.
“With a common sustainability framework, potential investors can begin to quantify environment, social and governance aspects of a project or asset, achieving appropriate value attribution as well as identification of cost risk and cost reduction,” Mr Singleton said.
“An infrastructure asset that is designed for optimum performance over its life cycle provides a stronger platform to attract investment.
“With billions of dollars planned to be invested in Australian infrastructure, the IS rating scheme will contribute to more efficient, resilient and robust infrastructure,” he said.
Chief executive of The Green Building Council of Australia, Romilly Madew said the council supported AGIC’s mission to advance sustainability in the design, construction and operation of Australia’s infrastructure, and was pleased to see the release of the new rating tool to drive industry transformation and innovation.