Sustainability approach

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Summary of document

The sustainability approach is an attachment to the North East Link Environment Effects Statement (EES). This document responds to the North East Link scoping requirements that relate to sustainability and climate change by describing the approach to integrating sustainability and climate change considerations into the planning, design and delivery of North East Link.

This document draws on the work the North East Link Project (NELP) has completed to date in developing a Sustainability Strategy (in development) and a climate risk assessment undertaken by AECOM.

EES scoping requirements

The scoping requirements for North East Link specify particular matters to be investigated and documented in the EES. The requirement relating to sustainability is in Section 3.1, Section 3.3 and Section 3.8 of the scoping requirements and calls for:

  • Section 3.1 – Implications of likely effects for implementation of statutory provisions, including policy, as well as consistency with principles and objectives of ecologically sustainable development.
  • Section 3.2 – The proposed approach to incorporate sustainability principles and practices into project procurement and delivery including consideration of economic, environmental and social impacts of goods and services over the entire lifecycle.
  • Section 3.8 – The draft evaluation objectives identify desired outcomes in the context of key legislative and statutory policies, as well as the principles and objectives of ecologically sustainable development and environment protection, including net community benefit.

Requirements relating to climate change in the scoping requirements include:

  • Descriptions of the existing environment and future climate change scenarios, where this is relevant to the assessment of potential effects. (Section 3.2 of scoping requirements, dot point 6).
  • Consideration of climate change risks utilising relevant standards for risk assessment (such as AS/NZS ISO 31000:2009), to evaluate the key risks associated with climate change impacts against IPCC projections and identify the proposed approach to ensure that the infrastructure will be resilient to projected changes in climate. (Section 3.3 of scoping requirements, dot point 7).
  • Greenhouse gas evaluation objective: To demonstrate that the project will contribute to the need for an effective, integrated and climate change-resilient transport system that provides a wide range of travel choices for all Victorians. (Section 4.11 of the scoping requirements, evaluation objective).

Sustainability and climate change approach for North East Link

NELP is committed to achieving excellence in sustainability on North East Link. In developing NELP’s approach to sustainability, a number of steps are being taken, including:

  • Defining what sustainability means for North East Link (refer to Section 2.1 of this attachment).
  • Understanding the legislative, policy and industry-led drivers for sustainability (refer to Section 2.1.1).
  • Assessing sustainability risks and opportunities to refine the scope of the Sustainability Strategy (see Section 3.1).
  • Developing sustainability themes, objectives and targets to encourage innovation (see Sections 3.1.1 and 3.1.2).
  • Integrating the sustainability objectives into the design, procurement and delivery phases of North East Link through contractual arrangements, workforce participation and the design process (see Section 4).
  • Creating accountability to meet objectives and targets through evaluation and reporting processes (see Section 4.5).
  • Delivering climate resilient infrastructure (see Section 5).

More information about the EES can be found in the planning section of the website.