About the Infrastrucure Sustainability Council

Our purpose

Ensuring all infrastructure delivers social, cultural, environmental and economic benefit.

We are proud to serve an industry that is enabling significant intergenerational change. We help generate social, environmental and economic returns for society by working closely with industry to embed sustainability in every aspect of our horizontal infrastructure and benefit people living in Australia, Aotearoa New Zealand and beyond.

Wind power station and global communication concept.;

Sustainability is doing things better. It's being more efficient, it's being intelligent, it's being smart, it's being integrated, it's being connected, it's being challenging, it's being able to do what we do as a society, but in a much more efficient way.

Nicole Neal - Cardno

About Infrastructure Sustainability

Infrastructure is the basic physical and organisational structures needed for the operation of a society. It is the roads that we drive on, the electricity lines that bring us power, and the airports we fly from.

We  are concerned with all types of infrastructure, including but not limited to:

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  • icon-road
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  • icon-ports
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  • icon-maintenance
  • icon-waste
  • icon-water

In an age of climate change, pollution and limited resources, the sustainability of this infrastructure is now more imperative than ever before. Sustainability is the ability to maintain rates of renewable resource harvest, pollution creation, and non-renewable resource depletion that can be continued indefinitely.

‘Infrastructure Sustainability’ can be defined as; infrastructure that is designed, constructed and operated to optimise environmental, social and economic outcomes of the long term.

Accelerating sustainability in infrastructure through collaboration

The Infrastructure Sustainability Council (IS Council)  is a member-based, purpose-led peak/industry body operating in Australia and New Zealand to enable sustainability outcomes in infrastructure.  We:;

  • Offer an Infrastructure Sustainability (IS) rating scheme for planning, design, construction and operations of infrastructure assets and portfolios
  • Provide education, training and capacity building
  • Connect suppliers of sustainable products and services with projects through the ISupply Directory and Products Partnership Program
  • Bring together experts and sustainability professionals from across the industry to share knowledge and strengthen the community of practice
  • Recognise and reward best practice.

IS Council’s greatest strengths are our community of engaged stakeholders and the  expertise of our members. We provide a network for collaboration, discussion and education. Our regular events, conferences and seminars support knowledge-sharing, and bring experts together in an environment dedicated to promoting sustainability in infrastructure.

2008 For industry by industry. In 2008, the Australian Green Infrastructure Council (AGIC) was founded by passionate professionals with the intention to develop an environmental rating scheme for the infrastructure sector. After considerable investment, the pilot of the first Infrastructure Sustainability Rating Scheme was released in 2011.

2012 Interest started to grow throughout the sector and in 2012, AGIC transitioned to become the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA). In the same year, ISCA released the first tool in the IS Rating Scheme, ISv1.1 Design and As Built.

Adoption and recognition of the IS Rating Scheme as a repeatable, credible assurance framework resulted in steady uptake, along with a growing wide and loyal member base.

2016 Sustainability performance being delivered across the market also improved both incrementally and exponentially. Enhancements were introduced based on industry feedback and the incremental performance shift which were evident. ISv1.2 Design and As Built was released in 2016.

2017 Recognising that quadruple line performance could be improved across the lifecycle of the asset, ISCA, in partnership with industry, released ISv1.2 for Operations in 2017, following a successful pilot phase. By this time, ISCA was supporting $87 billion worth of assets being rated.

With sustainability progressively being recognised as a discipline and a profession, ISCA intensified is support for IS Accredited Professionals (ISAP).

The pilot IS International rating tool was launched in 2017. Like all rating development, industry peer review and consultative workshops ensured the commercial, technical, and practical veracity of the pilot rating tool. It can be utilised by sovereigns, donors, multi-laterals, institutional investors, funding agencies and project delivery partners to measure, and achieve, long term improved asset performance in both developing and developed countries.

2018 Commitment to best practice outcomes in infrastructure was starting to be recognised not only as necessary by government agencies and private infrastructure owners, but also as competitive advantage by industry. There was also growing understanding that to achieve better outcomes and build social licence, sustainability needed to be embedded earlier in the asst life cycle. In 2018, ISv2.0 was introduced to the market which included major changes to reflect the shift in benchmarks, recognition of the quadruple bottom line as well as signalling future trends. It also aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This iteration included the Design and As Built Rating as well as the Planning Rating. Building on the Planning Guidelines released in 2016, the Planning Rating was introduced for testing. Pioneer partners again rose from the west, including the continued early adopters Department of Main Roads Wester Australia, and Westport.

2021 We continue to welcome members, with over 200 now part of our connected, collaborative and ambitious community. We remain committed to providing industry with a valued Rating Scheme with over 181 projects or assets under rating, valued at over $200 billion capex.

We evolved to become the Infrastructure Sustainability Council (IS Council). This transition acknowledged our vision and is deeply aligned with our purpose. The impact we enable was central to shaping our new identity and reflected that we operate in countries other than Australia. The change honoured progress and our ability to accelerate change through collaboration. It also respectfully acknowledged the continued commitment and contributions from our member whānau and stakeholders in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The Infrastructure Sustainability Council continues to be a purpose-driven not for profit membership organisation. Together, we are creating a positive future for people, the planet and the economy by ensuring that all infrastructure delivers social, cultural, environmental and economic benefits.


Our strategic plan charts a path to embedding sustainability in every aspect of Australia and New Zealand’s horizontal infrastructure. Creating infrastructure that is truly sustainable is globally important. By investing in more sustainable infrastructure today we can create significant medium- and long-term economic returns, build a more vibrant, inclusive, productive society and play a significant part in ensuring the environment can sustain all forms of life into the future. 

We want to build capacity and confidence across the industry, and to connect organisations and people in the infrastructure industry who are at the forefront of making and acting on sustainability decisions. 

We will continually improve our highly-regarded IS rating scheme to ensure it is easy to use. This means making it simpler to compare sustainability performance data and easier for our members to share knowledge about the results they have achieved and the transformations that we can and must all make. 

We will work closely with our members to advocate for embedding sustainability in every infrastructure decision. We are confident these efforts will continue to see Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand recognised as global leaders in this field.

To download a copy of Strategic Plan Click below.

Strategic Plan 2020-2025 

For more information on our four strategic goals, click below.





Meet Our Team

Want to find out more about our team, click below

Iscouncil Corporte Headshots June 21;

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