Net zero future: A decade for action

The report aims to support the industry in accelerating a net-zero future.
The report aims to support the industry in accelerating a net-zero future.

Infrastructure Sustainability Council and its industry partners argue that the Australian industry is well positioned to make the transition to delivering low-carbon, climate-resilient infrastructure within the next decade. But collective action is needed to meet the targets.

In a first-time collaboration Infrastructure Sustainability Council, Autodesk, Australian Constructors Association and Consult Australia have released a joint report to support industry in accelerating a net zero future through the design and construction of the infrastructure pipeline.

The report ‘A net-zero future delivered through our infrastructure pipeline’ signals that a whole-of-business, systems-based approach across asset lifecycles is required to accelerate the journey to net zero. This includes pulling key levers such as procurement, materials, methodologies, technology and people capability.

“The record investment in infrastructure creates opportunities for the construction industry to be part of the solution to net zero,” says Jon Davies, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Constructors Association.

“We all have a role to play, and it must be performed in partnership. The report sets out the options and enablers for government and industry to use in mapping the path to low-carbon, climate-resilient infrastructure,” Mr Davies adds.

Although the industry has a significant footprint, it has already started to demonstrate the influence it can have on the reduction of emissions, according to Ainsley Simpson, Chief Executive Officer, Infrastructure Sustainability Council.

“The 24 As-Built Projects certified over the last four years by the Infrastructure Sustainability Rating Scheme reduced their whole of lifecyle emissions by 26.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), which is equivalent to the 26 CO2e saved by the whole Australian economy in 2020,” says Ms Simpson.

There are many tools identified in the report which also map key enabling levers against asset lifecycle phase, as well as a net-zero delivery model to prompt and guide decision-making – from rethinking and redefining problems and solutions through to reducing carbon intensive materials and ensuring regenerative approaches are integrated in asset design and construction.

The report also presents real-world case studies to inspire project teams to utilise, adapt, scale and accelerate further innovation.  Technology is also identified as a key enabler of decarbonisation.

Andy Cunningham, ANZ Regional Director, Autodesk, says technology supports the infrastructure industry with the tools they need to unlock insights, make better decisions, and achieve superior outcomes.

“Software helps automate complex processes and transform data into actionable insights that empower innovators to improve the impact of everything they design, make, own, and operate. Cloud solutions and connected data environments fuel innovation – across technology, processes, supply chains, and industries. This opportunity is only accelerating,” says Mr Cunningham.

The release of the framework follows the COP26 climate talks which called for accelerated decarbonisation before 2030 to keep global temperature within the two degrees Celsius limits, and preferably to 1.5 degrees.

“Strong leadership and collaboration across the industry is going to be required to achieve accelerated net zero and keep our sector globally competitive,’’ says Nicola Grayson, Chief Executive Officer of Consult Australia.

“Net zero is a shared responsibility. Through the collective members of the Australian Constructors Association, Consult Australia and the Infrastructure Sustainability Council, in collaboration with Autodesk, we are committed to working with industry and government stakeholders to drive the continuous improvement required to achieve this shared outcome. We look forward to working together to take action at scale and at pace,’’ concludes Ms Grayson.

The report, ‘A net-zero future delivered through our infrastructure pipeline’ is available on Infrastructure Sustainability Council’s website:

This article was originally published in the February edition of our magazine. To read the magazine, click here.



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