Sustainable development

The United Nations developed 17 Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) in 2016, to define global sustainable development priorities and aspirations for 2030. These seek to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. 

On World Environment Day 2019, we launched our 2019 Sustainability Snapshot

The Snapshot sets out our practical steps towards economic, social and environmental sustainability.  

These are framed by our commitment to the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In particular, as the ACT region’s water utility, we recognise the significant role we play in realising SDG 6: ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

Sustainability elements are incorporated by Icon Water into all infrastructure planning to optimise environmental, social and financial outcomes over the long term life of our assets. 

Sustainability Scorecards 

The sustainable scorecard assessment is an in-house process aimed at ensuring all social, environmental, cultural and financial impacts, and opportunities, are identified before a project is delivered. This tool is embedded into the planning process of all of our infrastructure projects to provide a qualitative sustainability assessment. 

Sustainable infrastructure

As the first organisation in Australia to register an infrastructure project with the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA) Infrastructure Sustainability (IS) tool, we are committed to designing, building and operating sustainable assets. 

Two of our projects (enlarging the Cotter Dam and the design of the Googong Water Treatment Plant Chemical Facility project) have followed the ISCA IS methodology to thread sustainability through all areas of their design and construction.  
The enlarging of Cotter Dam delivered long-term sustainability outcomes for the ACT community. The sustainability features which contributed to these outcomes include: 

  • Reuse of resources whenever possible. A million tonnes of aggregate was retained on site to be crushed and used in the construction of the dam wall. This saved nearly three million kilometres in construction vehicle journeys, as well as saving precious materials. 
  • Providing artificial habitat to provide shelter for threatened fish species and secure the survival of the last viable population of the endangered Macquarie Perch in the ACT.   
  • Local recreation areas were improved - the Cotter Avenue recreation area was upgraded and a Cotter Dam Heritage Discovery Trail was created together with a dam viewing platform. A specific environmental education program for the dam was developed for 6-18 year olds, and around 1,600 pupils have already completed the program. 
  • All carbon emissions associated with the construction and operation of the project are being offset through carbon forestry offsets.  
  • An advanced septic system was designed to fit neatly into a six metre shipping container for ease of transportation. No other septic system available on the market had the capability of being simply lifted onto a flat-bed truck for transportation to another project, ready for operation. This concept can now be reused in other construction projects worldwide.  
  • Using solar powered traffic lights to control construction-related traffic, car-pooling among site staff, and using bio-diesel where possible for onsite construction activities were examples of emission reduction programs during the project.