Awards showcase sustainability in infrastructure projects
The infrastructure industry continues to set new benchmarks in sustainability, shown by the exceptional achievements recognised at the Infrastructure Sustainability Council Gala Awards 2022.
Held last night in Sydney, the awards celebrated sustainability best practices across Australia and New Zealand.
Infrastructure Sustainability Council (ISC) is the peak body for infrastructure sustainability, advocating for the delivery of cultural, social, economic and environmental benefits in all infrastructure projects.
Infrastructure Sustainability Council Chief Executive Officer Ainsley Simpson said many organisations recognise this as a crucial time to prioritise sustainable development.
“We’re embarking on a decade of rapid transformation, and our members know that sustainable development is both a responsibility and an opportunity. They are taking action to address challenges and move forward sustainably.”
Infrastructure Sustainability Council Chief Delivery Officer Patrick Hastings congratulated the winners for their outstanding work and the positive outcomes achieved in their communities.
“The projects nominated for this year’s awards demonstrate the industry’s commitment to attracting and retaining a skilled workforce, strengthening communities and managing waste, energy and carbon emissions,” Mr Hastings said.
“The Council received submissions across the 10 categories of awards, each demonstrating innovation and ingenuity to contribute to sustainable development goals.
“These awards show others in the infrastructure industry what is possible.”
The award categories for 2022 recognise organisational and individual achievements across a range of categories, including excellence in social, governance, economic and environmental outcomes, as well as outstanding individual contribution to the sector.
A full list of the award winners and their projects is included overlead.
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About Infrastructure Sustainability Council
The Infrastructure Sustainability Council is Australia and New Zealand’s authority on sustainable infrastructure projects and assets. The Council’s purpose is to ensure all infrastructure delivers cultural, social, environmental and economic benefits. The Council works with more than 20 federal, state and local government departments in Australia and New Zealand. The Infrastructure Sustainability (IS) rating scheme is mandated by delivery agencies and asset operators across Australia and New Zealand, with more than $200 billion infrastructure projects undertaking ratings. The Council represents 200-plus individual companies, departments and associations with a combined annual turnover of more than $50 billion. For more information, contact the Infrastructure Sustainability Council on firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.iscouncil.org
- Excellence in governance outcomes
Victoria’s Major Transport Infrastructure Authority (MTIA) North Western Program Alliance (NWPA) won the Excellence in Governance Outcomes Award for its governance framework, Power of the Program.
The framework provides a foundation for leveraging a rolling program of works to drive sustainability.
It ensures that initiatives viewed as best practices then become standard business practice on subsequent projects. This encourages teams to build on past success with new, step-change advances on every project.
NWPA is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions across the lifecycle of projects. Power of the Program is driving outcomes in sustainability metrics, as well as the use of innovative practices. NWPA has saved a total of 76,000 tonnes of emissions across projects completed to date.
Judges were impressed by NWPA’s ambition for best practice governance and embedding lessons in real-time. “This program of work demonstrates the importance of carefully designed governance frameworks to achieve tangible positive outcomes, such as increased efficiencies, innovation and sustainability.”
- Excellence in social outcomes
A joint venture between CPB, BAM Ghella and UGL Joint Venture won the Excellence in Social Outcomes Award. The Tunnel, Station and Development (TSD) package of works for Cross River Rail is Queensland’s largest infrastructure project, requiring scarce specialist underground and civil rail skills.
To support project delivery, the joint venture delivered three training initiatives to address the unique challenges faced by entry-level workers. The initiatives established pathways to employment for disadvantaged and underrepresented groups, upskilled school-based apprentices and provided trainee placements with partnering charities.
Specialist underground training and formal recognition of Certificate III in Rail Infrastructure filled a specialist training gap, helping actively address the national skills shortage.
Judges noted the approach provides multifaceted training to access and engage different workforce sectors. “Building practical workforce skills is a key initiative to fulfilling employment areas with large position vacancies. This initiative taps into a target sector of young people to assist with the national road to recovery.”
- Excellence in environmental outcomes
McConnell Dowell Decmil Join Venture (MCDDJV) with MTIA’s Major Roads Project Victoria won the Excellence in Environmental Outcomes Award for their joint project, the Mordialloc Freeway Project.
The MFP is a 9 km freeway link in Victoria, incorporating interchanges, bridges over wetlands and a shared user path. The project implemented a range of world-first sustainability initiatives in response to Victoria’s waste crisis and shortage of quarry materials, creating ‘Australia’s greenest freeway’.
Thousands of tonnes of otherwise waste material were used to construct noise walls, asphalt pavements, concrete reinforcing mesh and stormwater drainage pipes. This shift to sustainable consumption of materials achieved a 27% reduction in embodied energy.
The judges acknowledged the significant effort in innovating new technologies to divert waste away from landfill. “The focus on reduced truck trips, local sourcing and recycling is a powerful way to improve industry practices. The MFP demonstrates the potential cost benefits of improvised sustainability practices while supporting development and scale-up of local industry.”
- Excellence in economic outcomes
Global energy and infrastructure company, Acciona, won the Excellence in Economic Outcomes Award for its work on Department of Infrastructure and Transport’s NorthHub.
NorthHub is an integrated employment, skills and training centre for northern Adelaide jobseekers and South Australian businesses, including Indigenous businesses. The centre was created in response to job losses and significant economic impact following the closure of the Holden manufacturing plant in Adelaide.
Through training and upskilling at NorthHub, Acciona provided workers with sustainable, long-term employment and transferable construction skills.
Judges noted the demonstrated investment in Indigenous businesses and the targeted opportunities for disadvantaged and displaced automotive workers. “This project is leading the way in local workforce participation. Ninety-one per cent of NorthHub’s project spend went to South Australian businesses and 96.6% of onsite hours were performed by South Australian residents. This creates substantial local industry benefit.”
NorthHub sets a new benchmark in the construction industry for engaging local businesses and employees. This innovative approach has since been adopted by other projects across the country.
- Emerging leader
Rosie Dutton, Sustainability Manager at Acciona, won the Emerging Leader award, recognising her influence and contribution to sustainability outcomes.
Just four years into her infrastructure career, Ms Dutton brings a practical, collaborative approach to her work.
She demonstrates the value of sustainability to others in the industry, helping embed sustainability priorities into projects. This has led to a number of outstanding outcomes, including the successful completion of Infrastructure Sustainability ratings for the Sydney Light Rail project, achieving a score significantly higher than expected due to the challenging nature of the project.
Ms Dutton has a continuous drive to learn and share knowledge with her peers and colleagues. This allows her to influence more experienced colleagues and increase support for new initiatives.
Judges commented on Ms Dutton’s industry experience, noting her practical application of sustainability principles into real actions. “Her legacy ensures sustainability is front of mind in all aspects of the project.”
- Sustainability Champion
Pamela Simpson received the Sustainability Champion Award for fostering a strong sustainability culture and integrating sustainability into infrastructure projects.
As Sustainability Team Lead for the planning phase of the Manuwarra Red Dog Highway Stage 4 project, Ms Simpson was instrumental in driving sustainability across multiple teams and consultancies. The focus of this project was to deliver a new highway that was sustainable, met the needs of the local community and was resilient to extreme weather events.
During the project, Ms Simpson harnessed innovative sustainability solutions, such as mapping the Sustainability Management System against the v2.0 Planning scheme. She also designed the ‘Sustainability Roadmap’, a first-of-its-kind system to manage ISC rating submission.
Judges praised Ms Simpson for actively challenging ‘business as usual’ in the infrastructure sector.
“Through engaging her project team and stakeholders, Ms Simpson changed the mindset around sustainability and leaving a positive legacy.”
Ms Simpson’s project work has raised the profile within Main Roads Western Australia (MRWA) of ‘making sustainability happen’. She is currently working with MRWA to inspire a similar commitment to sustainability in other projects.
- Outstanding individual contribution to the sector
Liz Root won the Outstanding Individual Contribution to the Sector Award for enhancing sustainability and championing social outcomes in the New Zealand construction sector.
Known for her role as Principal Sustainability Advisor on the Auckland City Rail Link (CRL), Liz was an early adopter of the ISC framework and realising social outcomes on a major project.
Ms Root has played an integral role in supporting numerous clients in their sustainability journey, generously sharing her learnings and knowledge with peers and stakeholders.
Ms Root has left an enduring legacy within the CRL team by creating employment and economic outcomes for Māori and Pacific people, youths and disadvantaged workforce groups. She also led a world-first initiative at CRL by partnering with mana whenua to embed te ao Māori into the ISC framework.
Judges commended Ms Root for her lasting contribution to the community, CRL and the broader industry. “The two-fold focus on cultural inclusion and the development of junior colleagues creates a strong sense of legacy.”
- Outstanding achievement – IS operations
Downer EDI Works won the Outstanding Achievement for Infrastructure Sustainability Operations Award for its North West Tasmania Road Maintenance Contract.
This project delivered base services, minor works and periodic works to maintain the North West State road network in North West Tasmania, including pavement, signage, verge and drainage services.
As part of the project, Downer EDI Works monitored, recorded and modelled fuel and energy use from variable activities, including direct, indirect and value-chain greenhouse gas emissions. This data has been extrapolated to forecast usage across the useful life of the road network.
The project also monitored water consumption, implementing strategies to use non-potable where possible.
Key initiatives to reduce materials included implementing periodic works programs, improving line marking programs and using recycled material within the asphalt.
Downer EDI Works also collaborated with Latrobe Council for works involving a main street and car parking bays, working to minimise impacts to the community and save costs.
- Outstanding achievement – IS design
Arenco (NSW) Pty Ltd won the Outstanding Achievement for Infrastructure Sustainability Design Award for the Rooty Hill Station upgrade and multi-storey car park (NSW).
This project improved accessibility and commuter parking at Rooty Hill Station by installing four new lifts, accessible pedestrian links and car spaces, upgraded family accessible toilets and a new six-storey car park.
Using GreenPower, biofuels and renewable energy technologies, the project achieved a 38.4% energy substitution. An 1140-panel rooftop solar system supplements the power requirement for the car park. Five electric vehicle charging spaces provide EV charging for up to 10 cars, the first system of its kind for Transport for New South Wales.
A key innovation for Areco (NSW) Pty Ltd was the customised OSD Filtration System to manage stormwater in the car park. The system simultaneously captures and filters stormwater, allowing it to be reused for landscaping.
- Outstanding achievement – IS As-built
The CTD Alliance (Acciona, CPB, Aurecon, WSP, MTM, LXRP) won the Outstanding Achievement for Infrastructure Sustainability As-Built Award for their work on MTIA’s Caulfield to Dandenong Level Crossing Removal Project.
The project saw Melbourne’s busiest rail line transformed with the construction of an elevated rail solution—a verified Australian first.
To deliver the project, the CTD Alliance removed nine level crossings, rebuilt five stations, upgraded 72 km of rail systems, power and signalling, and extended platforms to support 63 new trains, boosting passenger capacity by 42%.
Key energy reduction initiatives included solar-powered LED markers and ECO mode escalators, reducing overall lifecycle emissions by 55%.
The ecological value of the site was improved by 70% through offset planting of native vegetation, the installation of fauna ladders and the creation of open green spaces. Several innovations were used to reuse and significantly lower the volume of contaminated material taken to landfill.