Media

Infrastructure Net Zero

November 16, 2023

Looking Globally to Learn Locally - Infrastructure Net Zero Webinar Recording

Watch the latest webinar recording, recorded on 16 November 2023 where we provide further information on Infrastructure Net Zero , a national collaboration between seven industry partners and three federal agencies, to accelerate the decarbonisation of Australia’s infrastructure in pursuit of the 2030 and 2050 goals .

Agenda:

Mike Kilburn, Director of Infrastructure Net Zero will provide an overview of Infrastructure Net Zero Initiative  

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Stuart Young, Head of Stakeholder Engagement & Management, UK Department of Business and Trade’s Construction Unit and Communications Director for the Construct Zero Industry Change Programme will share insights gained from the UK’s Net Zero construction policy, “Construct Zero” and reflect upon the outcomes, challenges and opportunities delivered so far.

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Panel discussion, The panel discussion, which will be moderated byAinsley Simpson, CEO Infrastructure Sustainability Council, will explore the challenges Construct Zero faced in their formative months, how we might adopt the learnings in Australian Infrastructure sector. Panelists include -  Jon Davies, CEO, Australian Constructors Association, Andrew Morgan, Director, Net Zero, Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications a& the Arts,  Stuart Young, Head of Stakeholder Engagement & Management, for the UK Department of Business and Trade,  Dena Jacobs, Executive Director – Strategy Planning and Innovation, Infrastructure NSW

Webinar Questions & Responses

  1. Q: Were trade-offs considered? e.g. working at home might increase home energy usage but was there a net gain after considering reduced transport energy usage

    A: The Nine Priorities outline a broad range of issues that implicitly considering the question of trade-offs. The Performance Framework provides active monitoring of the outcomes that allows the impacts to be assessed.

  1. Q: In what way do Infrastructure Net Zero acknowledge that humanity needs to overall reduce consumption, i.e., maybe not everyone can drive their own EV but rather increase the focus on shared transport over individual transport?

    A: Sustainably built infrastructure offers a range of options for reducing consumption. These begin with considering whether infrastructure needs to be built at all, or whether there are different and less impactful ways to achieve the same outcome. This approach will be covered in greater detail in Infrastructure Net Zero’s workstream on Defining Net Zero.

  1. Q: From a construction materials perspective, what are the strategies to ensure that the environmentally-friendly materials that contribute to net zero meet the required construction quality, and are readily available for infrastructure project implementation?

    A: Material quality is generally based on standards set by the government. This applies equally to environmentally-friendly materials. Availability is a genuine challenge and varies from product to product. There are a number of initiatives to build the market for such materials that identifies the demand and the supply, but a great deal of work is required in this area.

  1. Q: How impactful is the program - out of 200 companies involved, does their turnover/outputs represent a significant portion of the turnover/output of the construction in the UK?

    A: In short, yes - the list of companies participating in the scheme can be found here:
  1. Q: I’d love your insights and suggestions on addressing ‘old thinking’ suggesting net zero is not possible?

    A:  The question now is more about when rather than if net zero is achievable. Most key industries in the infrastructure space now have one or more reduction pathways, and the Australian Government is preparing a reduction pathway for the transport and infrastructure sector. It is also developing the regulation and policy articulated by Andrew Morgan of DITRDCA and Dena Jacobs of Infrastructure New South Wales to achieve the targets. Initiatives such as Infrastructure Net Zero and Construct Zero are specifically designed to support the development and implementation of solutions to further amplify and compliment the work of government by building partnerships through “coalitions of the willing”.  

  1. Q. Embodied energy is a key driver in T&I - what is the balance of support for the low to no carbon steel and concrete emerging technology?

    A. Steel and Concrete represent the lion’s share of infrastructure’s embodied emissions. Significant work is required and being done to address the challenge of matching supply and demand, and both of these sectors have a number of initiatives to address this challenge.