Wednesday 4 December, Sydney: The Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA) has taken home the top gong at the world’s longest running sustainability awards.
The 2019 Banksia Gold Award was presented to ISCA at the Banksia Sustainability Awards in Sydney last night.
ISCA Chief Executive Officer Ainsley Simpson accepted the ‘best of the best’ award on behalf of the ISCA team, board and industry partners.
“ISCA is a success story that underscores power of collaboration and cross-sector commitment from the infrastructure, construction and engineering industries to do things differently. It is a deep honour to be recognised at Australia’s most prestigious sustainability awards,” Ms Simpson said.
ISCA also took out the Banksia Not-For-Profit Award earlier in the evening. Other winners included Fujitsu Australia’s Digital Owl solution and Monash University’s Master of Environment and Sustainability program.
The Banksia Foundation has aligned its award criteria to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. As a result, the awards program is “Australia’s SDG Barometer”.
“The Banksia judges admired ISCA for walking the talk when it comes to the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Banksia Foundation CEO Graz van Egmond.
ISCA’s Infrastructure Sustainability (IS) rating scheme is explicitly aligned to 15 of the 17 SDGs, and makes direct contributions by supporting social enterprises delivering on SDGs 1 and 2.
Deployed across Australia and New Zealand, IS has 126 assets on its books with a capital value of $160 billion.
ISCA has found that certified IS projects have saved more than 2.2 million tonnes of carbon emissions, equating to $76.1 million in avoided costs. ISCA’s recent ROI assessment, undertaken by RPS, found that IS ratings deliver a minimum of $1.50-$1.60 in benefit for every $1 of cost, and potentially up to $4.10 in benefit.
“The scheme isn’t just an overarching system, but dives down to an operational level, so it is delivering outstanding outcomes. It’s clear that ISCA are open to sharing their success with others because they are truly committed to creating long-term and ongoing change,” Ms van Egmond said.
According to Ms Simpson, each iteration of IS from its earliest beginnings has been developed collaboratively, “and we could not have had the same impact without this approach”.
“We are thrilled to be recognised with the Banksia Gold Award, but we won't rest on our laurels. We are determined to work collaboratively to scale our reach, elevate our advocacy and ensure sustainability is core part of infrastructure evaluation,” Ms Simpson adds.
“The SDGs unite us all, and so does a determination to deliver infrastructure with quantifiable cultural, social, environmental and economic benefits,” Ms Simpson concludes.