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Sustainable development

We recognise the significant role we play in ensuring the availability, and sustainable management, of water and sanitation. This is why we are committed to the United Nation’s agenda for sustainable development. 

As part of this agenda, the UN currently has 17 sustainability development goals (SDGs). They outline global priorities and aspirations for 2030. The aim of these goals is to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. 

We have created a Sustainability Snapshot framed by the UN’s SDGs. It sets out our practical steps towards economic, social and environmental sustainability.

Sustainability development goals

Sustainability assessment scorecards

We account for sustainability in our infrastructure planning. This optimises environmental, social and financial outcomes over the life of our assets.

We use an in-house process to ensure these impacts and opportunities are identified and inform our decision-making. Our sustainable scorecard assessment is embedded into the planning process of all infrastructure projects.

Sustainability guidelines for design

We are committed to designing, building and operating sustainable assets. We have developed sustainability guidelines used by our engineers and project managers to incorporate sustainability principles into our project designs. The guidelines encourage innovation, life-cycle assessment, resource efficiency and respect for people, place and planet.

Sustainable infrastructure

This commitment to the sustainable design and construction of assets is why we were the first organisation in Australia to register a project with the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia’s (ISCA) Infrastructure Sustainability (IS) tool.

To date, two of our projects have followed the ISCA IS methodology. These are the enlarged Cotter Dam and the Googong Water Treatment Plant’s chemical facility. The IS tool threads sustainability through all areas of their design and construction. 

Long-term sustainability outcomes for the ACT 

Our enlarged Cotter Dam project has delivered long-term sustainability outcomes for our community. The features contributing to these outcomes include:

  • Reusing resources wherever possible.  
    • We retained a million tonnes of aggregate which was used in the construction of our dam wall. By doing this, we saved nearly three million kilometres worth of vehicle journeys and extra materials.
  • Securing the survival of the last viable population of Macquarie Perch in the ACT by providing artificial habitats.
  • Improving local recreation.  
  • Using carbon forestry to offset carbon emissions.
  • Designing an advanced septic system.
    • Capable of fitting within a six-metre shipping container, this system can be easily moved between sites. The concept can now be reused by other projects worldwide.
  • Implementing emission-reduction programs throughout the project. Examples include:
    • Solar-powered traffic lights.
    • Carpooling among site staff.
    • The use of biodiesel wherever possible.