Stephanie Camarena, Factor Ten, VIC
Road sustainability might sound like a misnomer. However, international initiatives include example
of roads sustainability frameworks based on life cycle assessment. Nationally, we can also find
increasing examples of sustainability being seriously considered in infrastructure projects.
The main elements covered in road sustainability are:
1. Environment and economic decision-making
2. Public Engagement
3. Decision for long-term environmental performance
4. Construction planning
5. Planning for lifetime monitoring and maintenance
Earthco Projects Ltd is a distributor of a stabilisation product manufactured in Australia. Their
product, PolyCom Stabilising Aid®, is listed with Eco-Buy and with Sustainable Choice NSW.
Earthco Projects Ltd wanted to evaluate the extent of the significant reductions in the carbon
footprint, material and water resources usage and financial savings they observed on projects they
worked on. A life-cycle based assessment of a project using PolyCom and a project using
conventional methods of re-sheeting was conducted by the Factor Ten sustainability consultancy.
The findings for this specific project were significant:
- Close to 90% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions
- 80% reduction in water usage
- 70% / year financial savings on the maintenance of the road
Thinking and designing sustainably can make a big difference to the triple bottom line.