Harvard University - Zofnass Program for Sustainable Infrastructure

The Business Case for Sustainable Infrastructure:

Decision-makers need to identify and understand the economic benefits of sustainability. The returns on sustainable investments represent an opportunity to contribute with applied research to this knowledge area, which is currently vague to stakeholders. It is widely known that sustainable projects avoid impacts, risks, costs and negative externalities, but these are rarely measured and shared with public officials and taxpayers. Understanding the types of costs, risks, and probability of risks allows stakeholders to deliver informed project designs that anticipate and withstand or adapt to these risks, minimizing their overall vulnerability. Through the Business Case for Sustainable Infrastructure, the Zofnass Program intends to articulate, in terms of productivity gains, how sustainable infrastructure contributes to social, business, and safety resilience. Illustrating the costs and vulnerabilities to hazards avoided through sustainable projects is the necessary first step for decision-makers to identify and understand the economic benefits of sustainability.

The Zofnass Program considers crucial to follow a multidisciplinary approach that considers the perspective of all stakeholders involved in infrastructure projects on the economic benefits of sustainable infrastructure. More often than not infrastructure projects are implemented through a heavily siloed approach, wherein there is no communication among different sectors. In addition, engineering is divided from finance and investment. Disparate training and research programs exist for each sector, which do not communicate with each other. Uncoordinated efforts in turn hamper collaboration and the implementation of best practices.

360 awards as a partnership Zofnass Program & IDB.

"The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) – Zofnass Programcollaboration began in mid-2013 with two pilot case studies from their private sector finance department, expanison of the airport  Juan Santamaria in Costa Rica and a wind-farm Peralta in Uruguay. Soon the collaboration was expanded in creating the first private sector infrastructure sustainability awards program, the Infrastructure 360°awards, in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The Infrastructure 360° awards will identify, assess and reward sustainable infrastructure investments made by the private sector and public-private partnerships in IDB borrowing member countries. They will recognize outstanding sustainability practices with emphasis on climate and environment, as well as leading practices in social impact, governance and innovation.was expanded in creating the first private sector infrastructure sustainability awards program in Latin America and the Caribbean" 

"As part of this initiative, the Zofnass Program has developed an online self-assessment tool where project owners can evaluate and submit their infrastructure project. The IDB and Zofnass Program will select the 12 best projects every year to undergo a detailed sustainability assessment, from which the 3 best will be chosen as award nominees by a panel of experts. The first group of awardees will be announced at the IDB’s Annual Meeting in 2014. The IDB – Zofnass Program collaboration will provide exceptional opportunities for research and education for students and faculty"(www.zofnass.edu)

Interactive map at: http://infrastructure360.zofnass.org 

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Independent research as Sustainble Infrastructure Expert

Sustainable Infrastructure Tool Navigator

The Navigator gives an overview of the most relevant 50+ sustainability tools supporting project teams, public officials and financiers among other stakeholders to integrate sustainability during the lifecycle of the project. The Infrastructure Tool Navigator provides easy access to 50+ tools including rating systems, high-level principles, and guidelines, helping stakeholders to find to the tool that best fits their needs. This Navigator offers a detailed explanation of the different tools as well, the phase of the life cycle, the main target audience and the geographic application distributed in more than 10 sectors in 17 countries.

To access the Navigator: https://sustainable-infrastructure-tools.org/

Sustainable Infrastructure Tool Navigator

Defining a methodology of key indicators for sustainable infrastructure - Proyectos Mexico

This project seeks to identify a set of indicators to classify the sustainability performance of the infrastructure assets in the “Proyectos México” platform. Proyectos Mexico is an initiative from Federal Government of Mexico that seeks to link projects of different infrastructure sectors with national and foreign investors.

Go to the site: https://www.proyectosmexico.gob.mx/ultima-actualizacion/

Ficha de sostenibilidad_ProyectosMX

Defining a Common Framework for Sustainable Infrastructure

Sustainable Infrastructure (SI) is now recognized as an essential foundation to achieve inclusive and sustainable growth, deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and meet the targets of the Paris Agreement of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The world needs to ramp up investments in sustainable infrastructure to tackle large deficits in infrastructure services especially in emerging markets and developing countries, respond to the structural changes that are underway —especially urbanization—, and accelerate the replacement of aging and polluting infrastructure. Altogether, around $90 trillion of infrastructure investment is needed worldwide between 2015 and 2030, which exceeds the current capital stock (NCE 2016). With that scale of required investment and the short window to arrest climate change, we cannot afford to lock-in polluting technologies and inefficient capital (IPCC 2018).

Final report: https://publications.iadb.org/en/attributes-and-framework-sustainable-infrastructure

.....................................Sustainable Infrastructure framework IDB

U20 Sustainable Infrastructure white paper

The main objective of this work is to identify the main challenges that local and national governments face when integrating sustainability practices at the upstream planning (project prioritization, screening and procurement). This paper provides recommendations for policy makers and local governments to address those challenges. This work will be published by the U20, as part of the agenda of the G20 group 2018.

Access publication: http://www.urban20.org/item/ejes-y-documentos-clave/U20_WP_Upstream_sustainable_infrastructure.pdf

....................................Upstream Planning for Sustainable Infrastructure

About U20 White Papers: Urban 20 task is  to present a series of White Papers from our Strategic and Advisory Partners that highlight the most relevant topics on the cities development agenda and the forthcoming urban trends. These papers define the challenges that local governments are currently facing and offer open recommendations supported by relevant, up-to-date research and data. The intention of this work is to broaden the understanding and perspective of decision makers and stakeholders as to enhance their ability to tackle these most pressing issues. The White Papers also represent the hard work and dedication of these agencies and organizations to keep the public well informed about the ongoing efforts to address the present and future challenges we share as humankind.