Sunday, June 23, 2024

Learn how infrastructure aims for net zero, at IoT Impact 2024

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“From the energy it generates and uses, the materials it consumes and the services it enables, infrastructure directly or indirectly contributes up to 70 percent of Australia’s carbon emissions.”

That’s a message from Infrastructure Net Zero (InfraNZ), a body that brings together a diverse range of organisations to “co-ordinate, collaborate and report on infrastructure’s pathway to net zero in a manner that aims to deliver value for community, government, industry and the environment.”

And, says InfraNZ chair, Nicole Lockwood, IoT technologies and the data they enable organisations to gather will be essential to InfraNZ achieving its aims.

Those companies providing the tools to gather data are very much going to be at the forefront of the changes in work practices that progress towards InfraNZ’s objectives will require. “Data is at the centre of the conversation, because without the ability to measure, we don’t know whether we’re on track,” she says.

Lockwood will be talking about the work of InfraNZ in a session in the Data for Net Zero stream at IoT Impact 2024, entitled Tracking to net zero for infrastructure and construction.

She describes InfraNZ as “a collaboration across eight peak bodies and three government agencies with the intent of trying to speed up the process of implementing changes towards net zero to infrastructure. It’s focusing on changes to policy and process and the way we plan and deliver infrastructure.”

She will be telling IoT Impact 2024 delegates “about some of the challenges in the market around the pipeline of infrastructure, the issues around skills and having the capacity we need to be able to rethink our infrastructure program with a net zero lens.”

The tools provided by IoT will be invaluable to gathering the data needed to measure and communicate infrastructure’s contribution to CO2 emissions and global warming. However, having this data is only the first step.

Nicolson says organisations need to be able to interpret the data, and to share it in ways that foster connections and enable mutual understanding while protecting intellectual property and preserving confidentially.

She says new taxonomies are being developed that will create a common language for the measurement and reporting of emissions-related data, and that government is making progress on changes to planning processes with sector-specific plans and strategies to understand the pathways to get to net zero, and identify the tasks individual sectors need to undertake.  

“We’ve got new procurement rules at a federal level that start to call for measurement of specific elements of a project, whether it’s recycling or it’s for a sustainable project and sustainable materials, or understanding the impact of waste or transport. Those measures will now be required as part of any response for projects and will be assessed as one of the important factors when a project is being awarded.”

She says there are a number of organisations now working to develop taxonomies for different industry sectors and standardise and harmonise the information needed to measure and communicate emissions data, citing as one example a joint industry-government initiative to develop an Australian Sustainable Finance Taxonomy.

It is being led by the Australian Sustainable Finance Institute in partnership with the Commonwealth Treasury. It started in July 2023. Some of the new reporting standards it is developing will come into effect on July 1 2024.

The taxonomy will harmonise way to value the sustainability aspects of an infrastructure project. “It’s helping the finance sector make a decision whether to invest. It gives them a common language to be able to determine how credible a project or initiative is, and whether they would then look to invest,” Lockwood says.

Following her IoT Impact talk Lockwood will join a panel session with Max Girault, chief commercial officer at Inauro and Sam Nelson, CEO of Pleiades. It will be moderated by Darren Hungerford, general manager of Downer company xDNA.

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