NZTA on Road to Greater Sustainability

NZTA on Road to Greater Sustainability

The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) has reinforced its commitment to environmental and roading sustainability by joining the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA).

ISCA is hailed as Australasia’s leading industry body for advancing sustainability in infrastructure. NZTA will begin trials of the ISCA Infrastructure Sustainability (IS) rating tool later this year.

Safety and Environment Group Director, Harry Wilson, said NZTA was committed to to the continued application of Greenroads certification to high value state highway projects.

“We would also like to better understand the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA) tool and its application to the wider transport system,” Mr Wilson said.

“On this basis we plan to commence a trial in late 2017 using the ISCA tool on a small number of projects to investigate its use and to develop a working knowledge of this particular tool.”

Mingha Bluff, New Zealand’s first Greenroads certified project, was expected to be completed by early 2018.

In the medium term, Mr Wilson said, NZTA was looking to develop a robust and long term Environmental Strategy and intended to provide more direction around sustainability rating tools.

Tonkin + Taylor’s Principal Sustainability and Resilience Advisor, Monique Cornish, was delighted at the news and congratulated NZTA on its decision, saying it was great to see that NZTA are taking the next step in understanding how to build sustainability into NZ’s transport infrastructure using the ISCA framework.

“I’ve been using the framework since Version 1 and, 10 years on, am supporting the development of Version 2, including recently applying it to some unique NZ infrastructure at Cardrona Alpine Resort,” Ms Cornish said.

T+T Advisory is leading the development of sustainability initiatives to achieve ISCA certification of the McDougall’s Chairlift upgrade project at Cardrona. Initiatives are placed in the context of broader Cardrona sustainability strategy and corporate values to ensure there is real value generated for the project and the organisation.

T+T and Action Sustainability are developing version 2 of the sustainable procurement credits in the ISCA framework. The team is leveraging the newly released ISO standard on Sustainable Procurement, as well as performance under the existing credits and current industry-leading practice.

Recently, T+T and EY undertook research on behalf of NZTA to develop a framework to support decision-making around resilience measures which could be implemented to protect NZTA assets. The framework allows the function of the transport system as a whole to be considered from an economic, social, cultural and environmental perspective. A risk-based approach supports both an understanding of the challenges to assets as well as the tolerance to disruption or outage.

Ms Cornish encouraged other organisations to get in touch with T+T if they were thinking about how to adapt ISCA to their projects.