2. Inland Rail objectives

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Since your task is ultimately to design a sustainability initiative that can be implemented by employees at Inland Rail, it's important that we consider the existing approach Inland Rail has taken to fostering internal sustainability culture.

Inland Rail has identified 7 key sustainability objectives that they would like to pursue, and that your initiative should strive towards:

1. Leadership and awareness

- Be a sustainability industry leader and conduct all work in a publicly accountable manner

- Provide sustainability training and education to all Inland Rail employees, contractors, and partners.

Example initiative:  Inland Rail publishes annual sustainability reports, which create transparency to the general public.


2. Governance

- Integrate sustainability into all internal business systems and processes and equip employees with the tools and resources to identify and address sustainability risks and opportunities.

- Encourage program-wide participation in decision-making, create sustainable working conditions, and support employee well-being

Example initiative: Green building principles have been integrated into the design, fit-out, and operations of the new Inland Rail Brisbane office. E.g. flexible and technology-enabled workstations, meeting rooms, and workspaces so people can collaborate easily. The new office is also the first commercial building in Brisbane to achieve a 6-star rating by the Green Building Council of Australia, with features like capturing rainwater for use by fire management systems, grey water recycling from hand basins and showers for flushing toilets, and lift design that returns energy to the building while braking at each floor.


3. Community and economy

- Mitigate social and economic impacts of rail development, respond to community concerns and support community aspirations.

- Job creation and economic recovery to communities along the rail alignment

Example initiative: Commitment to creating opportunities for skilled local and Indigenous workers during construction. For instance, The Parkes to Narromine project had employed 622 local workers to the end of June 2020 including 168 local Indigenous workers. The video below offers a nice overview of this objective.


4. Environment and heritage

- Create opportunities for habitat protection and heritage preservation

Example initiative: The Inland Rail Landscape and Rehabilitation Framework (May 2020) outlines actions required for rehabilitation of areas disturbed by construction. For instance, within the scope of the Parkes to Narromine project, Inland Rail applied 960,000 m2 of hydromulch – an efficient and sustainable vegetation restoration method – to the rail corridor. Hydromulch encourages fast cover crop growth that suppresses weeds and supports erosion control. As the cover crop dies off it creates favourable conditions for the establishment of perennial and native grasses. 

To learn more about heritage preservation efforts watch the video below:


5. Resource use

- Optimise the amount of water, energy, and materials utilised on the rail network and minimise generated waste

Example initiative: Using materials with recycled content or low embodied impact (which means that are locally sourced or relatively unprocessed). For example, in the Parkes to Narromine, 11% of materials contained recycled content or had a low embodied impact. Next video also highlights how Inland Rail reuses available materials instead of discarding them into landfill.


6. Sustainable procurement

- Tracking the program supply chain to ensure that it aligns with Inland Rail sustainability goals and values.

Example initiative: Evaluating and choosing suppliers based on a newly developed Supplier Sustainability Assessment Score, enabling Inland Rail to measure the sustainability ‘maturity’ of major suppliers and provide actionable suggestions on how they can improve over time.


7. Future operations

- Future-proof the program against potential risks and changes (in climate or community needs) and ensure long-term planning is integrated into all aspects of rail network development.

Example initiative: The Inland Rail Skills Academy has been created to raise awareness among school students in communities along the alignment about the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) careers that contribute to the successful completion of Inland Rail.


How do you think you might build on or complement these objectives and initiatives in your own project? Time to start brainstorming...

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