New sustainability rating scheme

The Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA) has released a new version of its Infrastructure Sustainability (IS) rating scheme, which helps companies achieve sustainability outcomes in Australian infrastructure.

The new version of the scheme, titled IS v1.2, considers the unique aspects of any asset by applying weightings to each credit, so effort is directed on the most appropriate areas and incremental progress is rewarded.

Other changes will increase efficiency and sustainability value by reducing the effort and evidence burden on assessors driving improved outcomes.

The key changes to the scheme include:

  • Weighting Assessment- The current method of using preset weighting and by exception scope-outs has been replaced with a compulsory materiality assessment that focuses sustainability activity towards initiatives that are most relevant for each project/asset
  • Credits consolidated- Some credits have been consolidated resulting in a reduction from 52 credits to 44 credits
  • Small projects- Modifications have been incorporated to make the IS rating scheme more user friendly for small projects. Customised credit requirements and guidance has been incorporated into 16 of the 44 credits specifically for small projects
  • Step v scaled benchmarks- The benchmarking of some credits have been changed from a step scale to a linear scale enabling the reward of all improvements, not just those that result in a project/asset surpassing the next hurdle
  • Innovation points increased- The amount of innovation bonus points has increased from 5 points to 10points.
  • Rulings incorporated- Rulings from the current version of the scheme have been incorporated into the credits of the new scheme
  • Manage, review and audit flexibility- Greater flexibility has been incorporated into 10 credits’ manage, review and audit requirements whilst maintaining the same level of rigour
  • Materials Calculator v1.2- The ISCA Materials Working Group identified a number of improvements to the IS Materials Calculator that have been incorporated into v1.2 thanks to the generous sponsorship of start2see. These include more than doubling the number of materials available, addition of multiple transport modes for relevant materials, addition of simple tools that allow default and custom ready mixed and precast concrete mixes to be formulated and analysed, the addition of unit conversions for relevant materials, the incorporation of a revised methodology for environmental impact to be calculated (from EcoPoints to IS EnviroPoints) and a revision of the source of materials environmental impact data.

ISCA CEO Antony Sprigg said that this milestone signifies the step change improvement the infrastructure industry has achieved since the release of the current version of the IS rating scheme.

“Industry has been instrumental in significantly advancing sustainability outcomes in Australian infrastructure over the past three years,” Mr Sprigg said.

“The IS rating scheme has provided an important platform for being able to measure this progress and the opportunity to provide on-going feedback on efficiencies and enhancements as a result of the growing importance of sustainable infrastructure in Australia.

“This industry-driven feedback has informed v1.2, which will deliver a more directed approach to managing asset sustainability.”

For more information, visit http://www.isca.org.au

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