The 2023 Infrastructure Sustainability Council (ISC) Awards recognises projects and professionals promoting sustainability in the infrastructure sector of Australia and New Zealand.
The Infrastructure Sustainability Council Awards 2023 revealed exciting industry trends, as judges highlighted themes of stakeholder collaboration and local business empowerment.
Hosted on 7 September at The TimberYard Port Melbourne, this event showcased the pivotal actions advancing sustainability in the infrastructure sector of Australia and New Zealand.
The Infrastructure Sustainability Council (ISC) is the peak body for infrastructure sustainability, advocating for delivering cultural, social, economic and environmental benefits from all infrastructure assets. ISC Chief Executive Officer Ainsley Simpson said the awards continue the Council’s well-established tradition of driving best practices, acknowledging leadership and recognising role models.
“These awards embody our commitment to enabling sustainable best practice in the infrastructure sector. By celebrating organisations prioritising environmental, social, governance and economic outcomes, we drive market transformation for a better future,” says ISC Chief Executive Officer Ainsley Simpson.
The evening was sponsored by essential service provider Ventia, a company focused on creating a lasting and positive legacy for people and planet. ISC Chief Delivery and Capability Officer Patrick Hastings applauded winners for their innovative approaches to collaboration and forward-thinking. “This year’s awards honour nominees who challenge conventions, reshape possibilities and ignite a fresh perspective on sustainable infrastructure,” Mr Hastings said. Spanning nine award categories, the Council received 72 submissions that led to nine winners and four highly commended nominees.
The 2023 award categories acknowledge organisational and individual achievement across social, governance, economic and environmental outcomes, along with outstanding individual contribution to the sector. “As the infrastructure industry navigates this next transformative era, these awards stand as a symbol of progress.” Mr Hastings said.
A full list of the award winners and their projects is included below.
1. Excellence in Governance
The North Western Program Alliance (NWPA) won the Excellence in Governance Award for the Preston Level Crossing Removal Project.
Completed in 2022, the complex rail infrastructure upgrade successfully removed four level crossings and constructed two kilometres of elevated rail viaduct.
Additionally, it established two premium stations and precincts while creating extensive open spaces in Melbourne’s inner north.
NWPA used effective governance mechanisms, such as optioneering, partnerships, continuous improvement and early community engagement.
This strategy fostered key initiatives such as Indigenous engagement and design, along with single-line running, radiant heat curing and local community-developed solutions.
The judges highlighted NWPA’s commitment to stakeholder engagement.
“Embedding all stakeholders in the governance framework from early on was excellent and ensured a well-rounded approach across a range of desired outcomes.”
2. Excellence in Economic
The South West Gateway Alliance (SWGA) has been awarded the Excellence in Economic Award for its work on the Bunbury Outer Ring Road (BORR) project.
SWGA led the project in partnership with Main Roads Western Australia (MRWA), focusing on sustainable industry goals that promote local economic growth and engagement.
SWGA’s approach centred on procurement and local business engagement, fostering collaboration with local businesses, organisations and government agencies. This approach has created opportunities for social and economic improvements in the South West region.
The processes and policies put in place are recognised within the industry as a best-practice model.
The judges noted SWGA’s proactive and dynamic approach to achieving business objectives.
“A Multi-faceted approach has given this project incredible outcomes.
“Incredibly innovative procurement and economic strategy developed with successful outcomes.”
3. Excellence in Social
The South West Gateway Alliance (SWGA) has won the Excellence in Social Award for their Yaka Dandjoo program linked to the Bunbury Outer Ring Road (BORR) project.
The Yaka Dandjoo program is dedicated to establishing meaningful career pathways for unemployed and job-transitioning individuals.
It has a special focus on youth, women, individuals over 45 and Aboriginal people.
The program includes mentorships, training and preparatory modules. It aims to empower participants to contribute to major infrastructure projects in Western Australia.
Since its inception in October 2021, the program has achieved positive results with 60% of graduates being female and 60% being Aboriginal people.
Despite the challenge posed by a low unemployment rate in the South West region, the program has graduated 140 participants, contributing to both individual opportunity and regional economic growth.
The judges highlighted the employment outcomes achieved by the program.
“Employment opportunities (outcomes) are enduring and outstanding. The outcome numbers are outstanding.”
4. Excellence in Environmental
The HSA Group (John Holland, Seymour Whyte, AECOM) in collaboration with the project proponent The Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR), has won the Excellence in Environmental Award.
This achievement is for The Cairns Southern Access Corridor Stage 3: Edmonton to Gordonvale (E2G) project, which focused on emissions reduction and circular economy initiatives.
The project introduced a new approach to construction through the use of a Concrete Extruding Slipform Paver and the substitution of 100% recycled plastic fibre reinforcement for steel.
This Australian-first method reduced raw materials usage, boosted productivity and repurposed waste.
Additionally, the project introduced a Queensland-first initiative by implementing six solar hybrid systems. These systems reduced diesel consumption while providing a reliable power supply.
The judges acknowledged the project’s ability to address an extensive range of UN SDG initiatives.
“It created benefits to the local project and also a large number of other projects nationwide. An environmental approach to operations as well as deliverables.”
5. Private Sector Industry Impact Award
ACCIONA has been awarded with the Private Sector Industry Impact Award for its contributions to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) within Australia and New Zealand.
ACCIONA’s initiatives include a Gender-Neutral Parental Leave Policy, offering benefits like part-time work at full pay from the 26th week of pregnancy.
Their diverse range of inclusive policies and programs align with their commitment to equity and inclusion. The company’s collaborative approach, involving co-creation with people and stakeholders, further bolsters its DEI efforts.
The judges were especially impressed with the impact ACCIONA achieved relative to its organisational size.
“The mentoring program that works to support young job seekers through the PACE mentoring program for students with a disability who have minimal exposure or experience with the workforce is excellent.”
6. Public Sector Industry Impact Award
The Office of Major Transport Infrastructure Delivery (OMTID) has been awarded the Public Sector Industry Impact Award for its role in driving sustainable change within the transportation industry.
Combining teams from Main Roads Western Australia (MRWA) and the Public Transport Authority (PTA), OMTID oversees the delivery of large-scale transport projects exceeding $100 million.
OMTID’s Resource Efficiency Action Plan (REAP) monitors progress and identifies areas for improvement.
The plan fostered changes such as quarterly workshops, forums and knowledge-sharing initiatives.
Additionally, OMTID created a Materials Reuse Platform, adopting targets for materials, water, energy usage and waste diversion.
The judges noted the confidence that REAP builds in innovative methods, as well as the organisation’s effort to drive sustainability and innovation within the supply chain.
“Working collaboratively within a single large organisation is difficult enough—to find a way to make this successful across two large organisations is a major achievement.”
7. Emerging Leader – Individual Contribution to a Sustainable Future
Alyssa Slaney, Project Sustainability Manager at Laing O’Rourke, has received the Emerging Leader Award for Individual Contribution to a Sustainable Future.
Alyssa’s impact on the Central Station Metro project resulted in a number of milestones, including a world-leading 6-Star Green Star Design Review for Sydney Metro assets at Central Station.
She championed the use of biodiesel, solar PV systems, water conservation and materials reuse.
Alyssa’s work stands out for its comprehensive nature, intertwining community involvement and knowledge sharing.
Her collaboration with local charities and mentorship of the next generation underscores her commitment to making a broader impact.
The judges commended her technical prowess and commitment, as endorsed by project leads.
“There was strong endorsement of Ms Slaney’s technical capability and commitment from technical and project leads who she has worked with on the Central Station Metro.”
8. Enduring Impact – Individual Contribution to a Sustainable Future
Link Alliance Social Outcomes Legacy Manager Berenize Peita has won the Enduring Impact Award for Individual Contribution to a Sustainable Future.
Through her leadership, with the support of CRL Mana Whenua partners, Berenize has elevated te ao Māori (the Māori world) as a valued part of the Link Alliance’s operational approach.
Her efforts emphasise the value in social outcomes and fostering a diverse, inclusive workforce in Aotearoa.
Social Outcomes initiatives under Berenize’s guidance have led to a 100% graduation rate from related programs.
Thirty-three rangatahi (youth) successfully graduated from a Progressive Employment Programme (PEP) and more than $95 million has been directed towards Māori and Pasifika-owned businesses.
The judges recognised Berenize’s profound efforts in reshaping how future infrastructure projects in New Zealand will unfold.
“Ongoing commitment to her work has created a permanent legacy for the tikanga Māori and te reo Māori people involved and for the way project managers can work with similar groups to achieve these outcomes on other projects and their communities.”
9. Outstanding Achievement – Sustainability Leadership
Parramatta Connect (a joint venture between CPB Contractors and Downer EDI), has won the Outstanding Achievement Award for The Parramatta Light Rail Stage 1 – Infrastructure Contact.
The project established a 12-kilometre, two-way track connecting Westmead to Carlingford, featuring 16 stops and 12 new or refurbished bridges.
Training initiatives provided opportunities for women in non-traditional roles, First Nations individuals, apprentices and disadvantaged workers.
The project worked to preserve Parramatta’s historical and cultural significance, integrating an enhanced urban realm, grass track and wire-free areas into the design.
Additionally, the use of macro synthetic fibres and an enhanced rail boot system contributed to sustainability and materials reduction.
The project’s achievements were further highlighted by its ISC ‘As-Built’ score of 104.35.
The judges noted the project’s holistic approach, recognising its reduction in CO2 emissions.
“Good workforce outcomes and support of social enterprises and Aboriginal businesses. A strong project overall and application that covers environmental, economic and social aspects well.”
Highly Commended Projects
John Holland CPB Contractors Joint Venture (JHCPB) received a highly commended mention for the Excellence in Social award. The Rozelle Interchange Project and Western Harbour Tunnel Southern Tunnel Works has driven positive social inclusion through its Aboriginal Participation in Construction Program (APiC).
Metro Trains Melbourne received a highly commended mention for Excellence in Social award for their Biosite Management Program. The industry-leading initiative works to improve and maintain the condition of 30 biosites of significance that contain threatened flora and fauna.
CYP Design & Construction (CYP D&C) has been highly commended for the Excellence in Environmental award for their Metro Tunnel Project. In collaboration with the University of Melbourne, Holcim Australia and Vortex Industrial Solutions, CYP D&C is supporting an innovative research study. This includes field trials of the use of recycled crushed glass as a virgin sand replacement in structural concrete.
Australian Spatial Analytics & Ventia has been highly commended for the Industry Impact award. What began as an NBN design and as-built contract between ASA and Ventia has become a comprehensive partnership.
Two Inland Rail surveying contractors have won three major awards at the 2023 Excellence in Surveying and Spatial Innovation (EISSI) awards.
Cross River Rail has been awarded a ‘leading’ infrastructure sustainability design rating by the Infrastructure Sustainability Council (ISC).