Image for Liberty leaders profile steel and sustainability at ISCA conference

With the surge in much-needed nation-building infrastructure, strong leadership and a commitment to change is needed to ensure the sustainability of the construction materials used in projects and the supply chains from which they are procured.

This year’s Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia’s (ISCA) conference – which starts in Sydney this week – will explore sustainability trends and initiatives within infrastructure and the wider built environment.

The theme of this year’s conference, Accelerating Positive Change for People and Planet, couldn’t be more relevant given the record levels of infrastructure development happening right around the country at present. New airports, hydro-schemes, major roads, bridges, railways, metro and light rail projects, new and improved hospitals, sport stadia and schools are all under construction or are in advanced stages of planning.

These initiatives are essential to unlock our increasingly congested cities and release the economic and social potential that lies within them. Delivering this much-needed infrastructure using sustainable means is essential to the wellbeing of our communities, our environment and the planet on which we live. Doing so requires leadership and collaboration between stakeholders and a shared commitment to change.

Joining the leading international and Australian experts to discuss the topic at this year’s conference will be Liberty’s Sally Eagleton and Rob Johnson, who will offer significant insight into the role of steel to the circular economy and the importance of social sustainability in the materials supply chain.

The role of steel in the circular economy

Joining a panel discussion on materials, resources and the circular economy, Sally Eagleton, Liberty’s General Manager Marketing, will focus on the significant contribution made by steel to the circular economy.

Steel is infinitely recyclable – the most recycled building material by weight on the planet. It facilitates off-site processing, prefabrication and assembly, reducing waste and energy requirements in its transportation, processing, construction and life-time maintenance.

At the end of a building’s life steel is recyclable and even reusable. This is evidenced by several major high-rise urban developments around Australia that are built on the structural steel skeletons of former buildings, including 20 Martin Place, which has been transformed from an outdated 20-storey 1970s office building into a 6 Star Green Star rated landmark in Sydney’s CBD. Sally will join the Materials, Resources and The Circular Economy panel discussion on Wednesday, 17 October.

Socially Sustainable Procurement Policies and Practices

The procurement of building materials that can demonstrate their environmental value is a critical element in the delivery of sustainable infrastructure. But under ISO 20400 Sustainable procurement – Guidance, increasing focus is being brought to bear on workforce sustainability (the health and wellbeing of employees and sub-contractors) and sustainable supply chain procurement (human rights risks in the supply chain and opportunities to help suppliers improve).

Liberty’s Rob Johnson will join a panel discussion on the importance of social sustainability and the supply chain. Liberty is an official partner of ISCA’s IS v2.0 rating tool.

IS v2.0 incorporates a more holistic approach to sustainability with the inclusion of key elements such as economic and social sustainability, as well as a focus on sustainable procurement. The new rating tool encourages and promotes greater collaboration and communication across all supply chain partners, which are fundamental to driving improved sustainability outcomes of major construction and infrastructure projects.

Sustainable procurement policies and practices are integral to Liberty’s strategic vision and are embedded in Liberty’s core values of Family, Sustainability and Change. Liberty pioneered the release of Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) to become the only supplier in Australia with EPDs for its range of structural and reinforcing steel products.

Liberty’s EPDs are recognised in the IS v2.0 rating tool and in the materials calculator. Rob will join the Social & the Supply Chain panel discussion on Thursday, 18 October.

Video courtesy Built.