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#20-18 Sustainability Rating Scheme Policy – update 2020

Published: | Category: Technical advice note | Audiences: Road traffic engineers & consultants, Roading contractors

This note is to advise that the Sustainability Rating Scheme Policy for Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency has been updated to be used on all future projects meeting the Rating Scheme Policy requirements.

Publication details

  • Author:
  • Published: 18 September 2020
  • Reference: 20-18
  • Contact: environment@nzta.govt.nz

Purpose

This note is to advise that the Sustainability Rating Scheme Policy for Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency has been updated to be used on all future projects meeting the Rating Scheme Policy requirements. The full policy is available for download from the State Highway Control Manual, on the Waka Kotahi website. The new Sustainability Rating Scheme Policy applies from the date of this notice. The major change supported by the policy is the move to replace the current GreenroadsTM rating tool with the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA) rating scheme.

General information

Waka Kotahi has a vison for a low carbon, safe and healthy land transport system. Toitū Te Taiao, our Waka Kotahi Sustainability Action Plan, sets out our key focus areas and headline actions that will help us to achieve our vision. This includes the broader application and use of Sustainability Rating Schemes.

Our Sustainability Rating Scheme Policy has been updated to reflect the changes in our current business practices and to align with our broader policies and requirements to drive improved environmental and sustainable outcomes as set out in Toitū Te Taiao.

The Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA) is a non-profit organisation that enables sustainability outcomes in the planning, design, construction and operation of infrastructure projects. The ISCA rating scheme encourages best practice and allows for recognition of outstanding sustainability performance.

Purpose of the notice

The purpose of the notice is to advise on the change in our Sustainability Rating Scheme Policy and the framework to be used for sustainability rating assessments of our capital work projects. This note is also to make our suppliers aware of the changes in our expectations and requirements related to the use of sustainability rating schemes.

Updated policy

The updated Sustainability Rating Scheme Policy will require the following:

  • All capital projects and programmes over $15 million capital value shall consider the merits of ISCA certification.
  • All projects over $100 million are required to complete ISCA certification unless:
    • Alignment with the objectives, non-monetised and monetised benefits and a strong value for money case demonstrates that it is not practical; and
    • The sustainability objectives of Waka Kotahi such as: reducing Greenhouse Gas emissions, reducing environmental harm and improving public health can be implemented in an agreed alternative way.
  • The assessment of the merits of ISCA certification for all capital projects will be evaluated during the early business case stage and at subsequent project stages. This evaluation shall be in the context of broader sustainability outcomes outlined in our relevant policy and strategy documents, including Toitū Te Taiao, the Environmental Social Responsibility Policy and the Resource Efficiency Policy.
  • The assessment of the merits for completing ISCA certification shall be completed in accordance with requirements and processes outlined in the Environmental and Social Responsibility Standard (Z19) and in the Project Management Manual (SM011).
  • Requirements and processes for contractors completing the ISCA certification during tender, design and construction phase will be outlined in an update to the Specification for Environmental, Social and Cultural Management During Construction (P47).
  • Any project not required to complete ISCA certification shall be required to implement and demonstrate achievement of the broader sustainability outcomes outlined in our relevant policies and strategic documents, including Toitū Te Taiao, the Environmental Social Responsibility Policy and the Resource Efficiency Policy.
  • Projects that are part funded by Waka Kotahi and meet the policy thresholds of $15 million shall also consider the merits of using the ISCA - IS rating scheme. At a minimum, these projects shall apply the principles outlined in Toitū Te Taiao, the Sustainability Rating Tool Specification, the Resource Efficiency Policy and other relevant Government policies driving broader sustainability outcomes.

All changes to the Sustainability Rating Scheme Policy were made in consultation with a broad range of internal and external subject matter experts. The changes to the Sustainability Rating Scheme Policy are not considered to have significant impacts at the project level when applied to new projects, as:

  • We continue using sustainability rating schemes to measure the sustainability performance of projects.
  • The policy still applies to capital work projects over $15 million.
  • Selected projects will continue to be required to achieve a defined sustainability rating.

The key changes to the policy include:

  • Going forward, the ISCA – IS Rating Scheme and Tools are to be used for the sustainability rating assessment.
  • The updated policy applies to all contract types.
  • Projects over $15 million going through the business case stage will now be required to assess the merit of complete an ISCA planning assessment.
  • Project that are part funded by Waka Kotahi and are above $15 million are also required to assess the merit of using ISCA.

Projects required to complete GreenroadsTM certification will not be affected by the update to our Sustainability Rating Scheme Policy.

The policy does also not apply to maintenance contracts, such as our network outcome contracts and projects that have completed the tendering process for the construction delivery prior to September 2020.

Communication plan

The target audience for this notice are Waka Kotahi staff and those external consultants and contractors who assist capital work projects during the business case stage and with the delivery of the design and construction of our capital work project. Advice of these changes will be promulgated by:

  • this note advising the update to our policy
  • direct access via the website and intranet
  • internal and external training workshops
  • industry presentation and engagement over the next six months.

Implementation

The requirement to consider the use of the ISCA – IS rating scheme applies to our high value capital works projects over $15 million. The key steps and processes confirming the application of the IS rating scheme include:

  • All capital works projects and programmes over $15 million need to assess the merits of completing ISCA certification.
  • All capital works projects and programmes over $100 million are required to complete ISCA certification unless alignment with monetised and non-monetised benefits and a strong value for money case suggests otherwise.
  • The process for assessing the merit to complete the ISCA assessment is based on defined criterial and will be completed by Waka Kotahi project staff.
  • The recommendation to complete a planning assessment will be made at the indicative business case stage.
  • The recommendation to certify capital works projects will be made at the detailed business case stage.
  • The required rating level and minimum requirements (i.e. selected credits and performance levels) will be indicated in tender documents and will for part of the Minimum Requirements (MRs) or Principal Requirements (PRs) of the of the project delivery contract.
  • The requirements for contractors and designers involved in the application of ISCA will be outlined in the Environmental Specifications (P47).

This Policy and affected documents are currently published for use on the Waka Kotahi website and InfoHub. Relevant affected publications, including our Social Responsibility Standard (Z19), Environmental Specifications (P47) and Contract Manuals (SM030 and SM031), will be updated in due course.

Effectiveness review

Sustainability rating tool frameworks such as the ISCA framework and industry practices are subject to continual development and changes. To ensure the Sustainability Rating Tool Policy is up to date with these changes, we will review the effectiveness of this Policy and the application of the IS Rating Scheme in driving wider sustainability outcomes and benefits following the first year of implementation and every three years following.

Publication details

Author: Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency
Published: 21 September 2020
Version: 2
Found at: Sustainability Rating Scheme Policy (from State Highway Control Manual) [PDF, 538 KB]

Further information

If you have any questions or feedback, please contact Maurice Marquardt - Principal Environmental Specialist (Sustainability and Resource Efficiency) at environment@nzta.govt.nz.

[signed]

David Darwin - Chair, Ratification Group

Vanessa Browne - Delegated Approver