A NEW infrastructure sustainability rating scheme, developed and administered by the Australian Green Infrastructure Council (AGIC), was launched last week by Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese.
According to AGIC Chairman, David Singleton, the Infrastructure Sustainability rating scheme (IS rating scheme) is designed to drive innovation, contribute to risk reduction and validate industry achievements through independent certification.
Developed over four years, the rating scheme can be used to assess most types of infrastructure including transport, water, communication and energy and comprises the infrastructure sustainability rating tool, a formal assessment process, rating certification and education program.
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 compared AGIC's IS rating to the Green Building Council of Australia's Green Star rating and said it could result in significant change to infrastructure development.
"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," Mr Singleton said.
"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 (ESG) aspects of a project or asset, achieving appropriate value attribution as well as identification of cost risk and cost reduction.
"An infrastructure asset that is designed for optimum performance over its lifecycle provides a stronger platform to attract investment," Mr Singleton said.
According to AGIC, the IS rating scheme aims to:
- Provide a common national language for sustainability in infrastructure;
- Provide a vehicle for consistent application and evaluation of sustainability in tendering processes;
- Help in scoping whole-of-life sustainability risks for projects and assets, enabling smarter solutions that reduce risks and costs;
- Foster resource efficiency and waste reduction, reducing costs;
- Foster innovation and continuous improvement in the sustainability outcomes from infrastructure; and
- Build an organisation's credentials and reputation in its approach to sustainability in infrastructure
More information on the Infrastructure Sustainability Rating Scheme is available from the Australian Green Infrastructure Council website at <http://www.agic.net.au/>.