2018 Award Winner Profile: Laura Pritchard

2018 Emerging Young Individual Leadership Award Profile: Laura Pritchard

The IS Emerging Young Individual Leadership Award acknowledges our future leaders for their outstanding leadership and greatest contribution to advancing infrastructure sustainability in Australasia. This award was introduced for the first time in 2018.

Congratulations to Laura Pritchard, who was awarded the IS Emerging Young Individual Leadership Award for 2018.

Winner Profile: Laura Pritchard

Laura Pritchard is the Sydney Metro City & Southwest Sustainability Officer, responsible for ensuring sustainability practices are integrated in all areas of the project design and construction.

Laura has been an IS Accredited Professional for more than a year and is heavily involved in streamlining how the rating will be applied across the Sydney Metro City & Southwest project packages. This includes developing a set of base case assumptions, conducting a verifier briefing to explain how the rating will be applied across the packages of work and developing the ISCA implementation plan. In compiling these, Laura has collaborated with the Sydney Metro Northwest team and ISCA case managers to understand lessons learnt and best practice approach; fine-tuning these for Sydney Metro City & Southwest.

Sydney Metro City & Southwest is being delivered via 15 packages of works, which are undertaken by separate delivery partners. The six major infrastructure packages are seeking an ISCA rating, with some packages being rated under Green Star and smaller contracts to achieve NSW Sustainable Design Guidelines. This increases the difficulty of applying the rating due to the complexities of understanding what elements fit in each scope and in some cases overlap.

Leadership in infrastructure sustainability

Laura has provided outstanding support to the Sydney Metro City & Southwest team, including Senior Manager, broadening her leadership responsibilities significantly.

Laura concurrently manages the sustainability for the Sydenham metro upgrade and Barangaroo Station contracts as an embedded resource in the contract implementation group, with a high degree of autonomy to promote best practice sustainability. Additionally, she was the lead project support for enabling contracts for the Sydney Yard Access Bridge and Northern Corridor Work seeking high Sustainable Design Guideline Rating.

This has allowed Laura to develop her leadership skills in order to influence better infrastructure sustainability outcomes for Sydney Metro. From delivering general sustainability overview presentations to in depth presentations about key topics such as modern slavery and sustainability innovations, Laura is confident in speaking to different audiences and communicating the relevant outcomes.

Laura is part of the monthly Sydenham metro upgrade sustainability leadership committee. It is a contractor led forum, which consists of discipline and project leaders from both the contractor (John Holland Pty Ltd and Laing O’Rourke Australia Construction Pty Ltd) and client side and is focused on delivering ISCA outcomes. This collaboration has seen Laura drive vast improvements in the infrastructure sustainability space for Sydney Metro projects with the contractors.

In  addition  to  promoting  infrastructure  sustainability  outcomes  with contractors,  Laura  has  been  involved  in  encouraging  other  professionals  within  the  Transport  for  NSW  cluster  to register for ISAP training.

Laura has also driven initiatives such as:

  • Partnerships with social enterprises
  • Community benefit fund
  • Sydney Metro response to Modern Slavery Act
  • Low carbon concrete
  • Fine-tuning the strategic partnerships with Green Building Council of Australia and ISCA.

As part of implementing a partnership with Social Traders, an organisation that seeks to improve opportunities for social enterprises  within  large  supply  chains,  Laura  has  presented  to  various  internal  stakeholder  groups  across  the organisation.. Laura’s contribution to sustainability at Sydney  Metro  has  helped  the project evolve  as a  sustainability  leader  in  the infrastructure industry.

Her contribution is valuable for influencing innovation and dynamic change in the organisation’s approach to infrastructure sustainability solutions.

Achievements and Outcomes

Through Laura’s insight and thoughtful long-term approach to infrastructure sustainability, she has  helped  Sydney Metro set new benchmarks and milestones. These achievements have resulted in positive sustainability outcomes for not only Sydney Metro but also wider government, industry and the wider community.

Laura has been the backbone in ensuring that all the contractors working on the Sydney Metro City & Southwest achieve the minimum IS rating standard for both As Built and Design categories. This has been achieved through Laura’s composition of an ISCA implementation plan which outlines the requirements associated with achieving an IS Rating across the City & Southwest project. In addition to this, Laura held a verifier briefing for ISCA to develop the initial ISCA weighting assessments and how the ratings would be applied across the packages of work within the Sydney Metro City & Southwest project.

Through Laura’s transparency and open communication with both ISCA and the contractors involved, she has achieved strong relationships and excellent sustainability outcomes for Sydney Metro.

Her  dedication  towards  infrastructure  sustainability  has  been  recognised by  stakeholders  and  colleagues. Her knowledge  and  commitment  to  sustainability  has  also  been  recognised  through her  invitation  and  subsequent participation as a presenter in widespread workshops and forums including the Sydney Metro environment, planning, workforce & sustainability forums and the Sydney Metro contractor sustainability forum.

Congratulations once again to Laura. Submissions for the 2019 IS Awards open in June.

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