The role of sustainability advisers in developing sustainability outcomes for an infrastructure project: lessons from the Australian urban rail sector
Sustainability advisers are being engaged by infrastructure proponents and their delivery partners in response to increasing drivers to achieve sustainability outcomes in project delivery. This paper outlines key issues to be considered and important actions to be undertaken by sustainability advisers in this role. The discussion is based on findings of an interview process with participants from the New South Wales urban rail sector in Australia, and the authors' practical experience working as advisers on infrastructure projects, with a focus on the Gold Coast Rapid Transit project in Queensland, Australia. Issues to be considered relate to understanding project governance structures, including the delivery method, which can affect the scope of sustainability outcomes. Actions undertaken relate to consultation and workshop activities such as identifying key decision-makers, benchmarking, and prioritising sustainability issues. This paper provides insight into contemporary infrastructure sustainability practice and will assist sustainability advisers, including impact assessment practitioners, to provide pragmatic sustainability advice.
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