Transport for NSW: Platinum Sponsors for the 2018 IS Conference and Awards
Transport for NSW are platinum sponsors for the 2018 Annual Conference and Awards. We caught up with the team at TfNSW prior to this week’s event:
Why did you decide to partner with ISCA for the Infrastructure Sustainability Conference ‘Accelerating Positive Change for People and Planet’?
Transport for NSW (TfNSW) has been a long-time supporter of ISCA. The NSW Government, including TfNSW, provided initial funding to support the development of Version 1.0 of the IS Rating scheme. We’ve continued to support ISCA financially, and numerous employees have provided technical support, to develop version 2.0 of the scheme, in conjunction with other Government and industry partners. Further, with an extensive pipeline of NSW largest infrastructure projects, TfNSW recognises the importance of building infrastructure that conserves our natural resources, is built to adapt and be resilient, while also improving social outcomes. Our close and long-standing partnership with ISCA will help us to achieve our sustainability objectives. By supporting this year’s ISCA conference, we’ll continue our contribution to building valuable industry knowledge and innovation.
Which of this year’s Conference themes/topics are TfNSW most passionate about?
TfNSW is committed to driving industry and sustainability advancements in all themes represented the ISCA conference. Three key themes we’re actively working on are: the road to carbon neutrality; regional investment in infrastructure; and social sustainability and the supply chain.
What are some of the other ways TfNSW is demonstrating sustainability leadership?
At TfNSW, we’re working hard to embed sustainability into the DNA and culture of our organisation. Our long term strategy ‘Future Transport 2056’ identifies sustainability as one of six key outcomes. We’re taking a whole-of-life approach, incorporating sustainability early in the strategic business case, and addressing sustainability by applying IS Ratings to all projects above $50 million. We’re focussed on training our supply chain and staff on sustainability, and committed to demonstrating real and meaningful outcomes.
TfNSW is currently delivering the largest transport infrastructure program Australia has ever seen. There’s a huge opportunity to have a positive impact for people and planet; what are some of the ways you’re achieving this?
At TfNSW, we’re proud to say that we were one of the first to mandate IS Ratings in our projects. Our contractors on Sydney Metro Northwest were tasked with achieving a minimum IS score of 65 (excellent ratings). We believe this set the benchmark within the industry, with many others following in our footsteps by mandating IS Ratings and minimum scores in projects across Australia.
Beyond the IS Rating scheme, TfNSW applies its own Sustainable Design Guidelines as a requirement for projects. So, whether projects pursue an IS Rating or apply our Guidelines, all TfNSW projects have a minimum requirement to apply sustainability approaches. Additionally, we’re working closely with other government agencies to implement social procurement and workforce targets. Along the way, we’re sharing our learnings with each other, and the broader industry, to ensure that we continue to learn and improve.
What role do you see infrastructure playing in how we respond to climate change?
The transport sector is ranked globally as the third highest producer of greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to global warming. TfNSW is currently delivering the largest transport infrastructure program Australia has ever seen. Therefore, we have a significant role to play in how we design and build and operate those projects. Our first step has been to gain a deep understanding of our climate risk early in the design process for each project. By using the best available scientific data, we can make informed decisions to adapt the design, and therefore operation, of each unique project to ensure that they are resilient for the future. We’re also working with other government agencies to pursue alternative energy as a means of reducing our operational impacts.
What does the industry in Australia need to do to realise the SDGs by 2030?
IS Version 2 embeds the SDGs – so as projects use this rating tool, then industry will work towards the realisation of the SDGs in infrastructure projects in Australia.
How are you currently deploying the IS tool on your projects and what have been the challenges. Learnings and successes?
We’re working closely and collaboratively with ISCA to incorporate the IS Rating scheme across many of our projects. Through this collaboration, we’ve been able to use the IS Rating scheme to identify gaps and opportunities to continuously improve our management systems and practical opportunities. This approach is enabling us to improve sustainability performance on our projects. Some example projects that have applied the IS rating scheme are:
- Wynyard Walk,
- New Intercity Fleet,
- Newcastle Transport Interchange,
- 3 Light rail projects including - Newcastle Light Rail, CBD South East Light Rail, & Parramatta Light Rail,
- Regional Rail,
- Transport access projects,
- Sydney Metro Northwest and Sydney Metro City and Southwest
Which project are you particularly proud of and why?
All of our projects are making contributions to Sydney’s modern and integrated transport system, which includes trains, buses, light rail and active transport. The project we’re most proud of to date is the Sydney Light Rail. Despite the challenges in construction, once complete, it will showcase our commitment to innovation and sustainability, as well as transform the CBD.
How has using the ISCA framework helped to drive more sustainable outcomes for TfNSW?
Since the launch of Version 1.0 of the scheme, we’ve certainly seen the benchmark for best practice in sustainability lift in all our projects and within the industry. We see the scheme as invaluable in helping us drive sustainability internally and on our projects. Even better, a rating certainly helps us to communicate our achievements to a variety of stakeholders, including our valuable customers.
What’s next for TfNSW?
We’re continuing on our steep learning curve and having to learn quickly in a fast-paced environment. Like many in the industry, we know there are certainly areas for improvement, but we welcome that challenge to drive better outcomes for our organisation, people and the planet. Through our ‘Future Transport 2056’ strategy, we’re committed to embedding sustainability into our organisation and culture and aspire for it to become business as usual.