Speech on retiring from ISCA board

I delivered the following remarks yesterday on the occasion of my retirement from the board of the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia.

“Mr Chairman, I have seen a lot since this journey began.

Back in 2007, I was seeing a mushrooming of half-baked, project-by-project tools and bespoke rating schemes – when what we needed were agreed, robust measures that challenged the industry and were verifiable.

I was seeing the growth of other sustainability rating systems being limited because they were too insular, too commercial or too protective of their IP – when what we needed was industry-wide, shared ownership and participation.

I was seeing commercial interests circling and seeking to monopolise what might emerge – when what we needed was cooperation and the creation of shared value.

Most concerning of all, I was seeing real opportunities to enhance sustainability go wanting – when what we needed was a compelling reason to seize those opportunities.

As we began our journey, I started to see different things:

  • An outstanding and humbling willingness of professionals to volunteer their time and ideas – in many cases, very selflessly – and this continues;
  • Direct and implicit support of numerous, profit-seeking firms to invest in something mainly for the benefit of the community and the environment;
  • Tenacity and perseverance of members even during the most difficult business conditions; and
  • The emergence of the very professional, highly focussed and ably led ISCA organisation.

The second most rewarding part of this experience has been to actually see infrastructure delivered that is more sustainable than it would have been if it were not for our efforts.

The most rewarding of all is to have had the privilege of collaborating with so many excellent people – with their desire to make a difference, their intellectual contributions and their camaraderie.

On retiring, I wish to sincerely thank my board colleagues, ISCA staff, volunteers, assessors, members and project proponents.

May ISCA have much success for many years to come.”

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