The last few years has seen a shift in industry attitudes towards sustainable thinking when it comes to our assets, and we are beginning to see the benefits this outlook may have in terms of cost saving and risk reduction. Here, Antony Sprigg, CEO of the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia, explores the role a sustainable approach to asset management should play in Australia’s future.
Ahead of his keynote presentation, The role for sustainability to inform and evaluate asset management for critical infrastructure, at the Asset Management for Critical Infrastructure Conference, being held from 16-17 August in Sydney, Mr Sprigg says that companies must think about sustainability as an essential part of their planning, rather than just something extra.
Mr Sprigg says that current strategic asset management plans are lacking in sustainability, and focus too narrowly on budget.
“Often when referring to sustainability the response, either in individual contracts or from the asset management industry, is really around financial sustainability, rather than the genuine reflection of sustainability which is triple-bottom line; social, economic and environmental,” Mr Sprigg says.
“There needs to be a bit of a mindset shift to go beyond five or ten-year thinking, and look at a genuine whole of life context.
“That’s important, because even if your contract is short term, your professionalism and performance regarding that asset and taking the client along for a journey is longer term thinking.
“Thinking about longer term issues will be respected, because you’re putting the asset, the community and the client’s ultimate responsibilities first. I think there’s inherent benefit with that.”
Mr Sprigg says that having a collaborative, systems based approach to sustainability that addresses the triple bottom line is fundamental for the future of asset management.
“It’s not just managing physical performance of that asset, but also a lot of the softer issues around it, because those softer issues are related to people, they’re related to environment. If there’s an impact on them, then there will be an impact on those who are responsible for managing the road.”
How can your company use sustainability to inform asset management decisions?
Hear more from Antony Sprigg about the importance of adopting a sustainable approach in his presentation at Asset Management for Critical Infrastructure, running from 16-17 August at the Swissôtel in Sydney.
For more information or to register, visit www.assetmanagementforcriticalinfrastructure.com.au.