At Ventia, we’re passionate about making infrastructure work for our communities and we strive to do that in a sustainable way. Since 2019 Ventia has partnered with Transurban to advance sustainability in the communities where we operate. The power of our partnership comes from collaboration and our shared drive to make meaningful and measurable improvements.

Our joint Sustainability Governance Group (SGG) was established in 2019 and meets quarterly to discuss new ways, develop new initiatives, and monitor progress of our mutual sustainability agenda. 

SGG members include:
•    Christian Frost – EGM Safety Health Environment Quality, Ventia (Chair)
•    Matthew Brennan - Head of Sustainability, Transurban
•    David McPadden – GM Road Transport Operations Australia, Ventia
•    Alexandra Monson – Group Manager Sustainability, Ventia
•    Gunhan Guven - Head of Planning and Maintenance, NSW, Transurban
•    Ed Babela - Project Director M&T NSW, Ventia
•    Kelly Irwin – Head of Sourcing, Transurban
•    tbc - Sustainable Procurement Manager, Transurban

Our initiatives
At the inaugural meeting of the governance group, four focus areas were identified. These focus areas have now evolved to include carbon emissions, diversity and inclusion, waste management and modern slavery.

Initiatives underway and progress to date are outlined below. 

Carbon emissions

Mapping of energy use and emissions on Ventia’s Transurban contracts     

- Mapping of our vehicle emissions determined a key focus was our heavier vehicles. We identified that our trucks and truck mounted attenuators (TMAs) account for two thirds of emissions on the Motorway and Tunnels contracts.

- TMAs have high ‘idle time’ which means the engine is running while it is deployed and stationary, using diesel and generating emissions. If the TMA is electrified, it would generate no emissions while in operation.

Investigate options for a zero emissions vehicle as a trial for Truck Mounted Attenuator    

Ventia identified a fully electric truck from SEA Electric and worked with the vendor and TMA provider to design a compliant vehicle option. Ventia placed an order for a fully electric TMA, a Hino 500 GH 4x2, believed to be a world-first, with SEA Electric in May 2021. The innovative vehicle is anticipated to be protecting workers and road users along the M2 by August 2022.

Identify further opportunities for energy efficiency and emissions reduction

All Motorways and Tunnels contracts have prepared and are implementing a Resource Reduction Implementation Plan (RRIP). The plans are specific to each contract and include specific initiatives around energy and emissions, as well as water, resources and waste.

Figure 1. The SEA Electric drivetrain used to electrify the world-first EV truck mounted attenuator for managing road incidents.

Diversity and Inclusion

Develop baseline against which to measure progress in increasing diversity at Motorway and Tunnel contracts

- Baseline for 2020 developed and measurement of progress shared at each Sustainability Governance Group meeting. The main focus is on gender diversity and Aboriginal participation in our workforce.

- Targeted recruitment campaigns have been undertaken to increase team diversity.

Understand current diversity of our supply chain and identify where we can create opportunity through social procurement  

- A review of our supply chain was undertaken, and an initial scoping exercise completed for opportunities within New South Wales and Victoria. 

- Targeted opportunities have been identified and agreed.

- An Incubation Model has been agreed to create value and growth for small social and/or indigenous businesses. Apricot Consulting are providing support to commence introduction to NSW contracts.

- Two new Indigenous businesses were engaged in NSW mid-2021.

Waste Management

Undertake an audit of roadside litter waste to identify potential for diversion from landfill    

- Waste audit conducted at M2 identified opportunities for segregation of additional waste streams for recycling.

- Following the audit, streamlining of waste contractors has occurred for roadside and office waste.

- From July 2021, new waste streams separated and diverted from landfill include batteries, tyres, co-mingled recyclables and cans and bottles.

- Improved waste reporting will enable tracking of progress and measurement of the environmental benefits of additional recycling.

Modern Slavery / Human Rights

Identify at-risk suppliers of high modern slavery risk commodities

- Transurban and Ventia have been working jointly at the Modern Slavery Road Construction Industry Coalition.

- Focus area of the Coalition is to identify and manage PPE related risk.

Increase awareness of Modern Slavery risk

- Joint Collaboration with the Australian Border Force to provide incident response crew awareness trainings on modern slavery.

- Internal working group formed with representatives from Ventia, Transurban Legal, Operations & Maintenance.

- An industry-first Pilot training workshop was held at the Cross City Tunnel with first responders and supervisors on 25th June 2021. The session was held remotely due to Covid restrictions but provided attendees:
-  Better knowledge of modern slavery risks
-  Be able to identify potential instances of modern slavery within Transurban road asset operations; and
-  Know how to respond and escalate incidents

- Transurban and Ventia are evaluating the outcomes of the workshop with a view to extending across other assets.