The Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia's (ISCA's) IS rating scheme is Australia and New Zealand's only comprehensive rating system for evaluating sustainability across the planning, design, construction and operations of infrastructure programs, projects, networks and assets.

In November 2020, Ventia was awarded an interim 'Commended' rating for Operations from ISCA for the Western Roads Upgrade (WRU) project, in the first year of a stringent three-year rating process.

Reaching this significant milestone makes Ventia one of only three Australian organisations to achieve an ISCA certification in Operations.

The WRU project is a $1.8 billion investment to improve roads in Victoria's western suburbs that began in 2018 and includes a maintenance contract for the ongoing care of 260kms of road between West Melbourne and Werribee.

The WRU project is being delivered via a Public Private Partnership (PPP) between the Victorian Government and the Netflow JV. As well as delivering road rehabilitation works and strengthening key structures in the capital works phase of the project, Ventia is the services contractor to Netflow for the 23-year WRU term.

Our ISCA submission 

Ventia's first year submission to ISCA was made in 2020, fulfilling four stages of the IS rating scheme from registration and assessment, to verification and certification. In preparation for assessment and to achieve the required credits, Ventia's WRU team completed a depth of work with their dedicated ISCA Case Manager, including:

  • determining weightings for the most material sustainability aspects of the asset and operations
  • preparing and verifying a base case for (constant) materials and energy
  • conducting stakeholder workshops,
  • undertaking risk assessments, inspections, monitoring and reviews,
  • preparing summary forms for each credit.

Evidence is continuously measured and collated throughout the rating period and it is essential for the project to demonstrate that it is constantly striving to improve, and that sustainability is embedded throughout all processes.

The IS rating scheme is grounded in best practice, evaluating sustainability performance across the 'quadruple bottom line' - incorporating governance, economic, environmental and social aspects of infrastructure development.

Innovation and collaboation key to success

Innovation and collaboration were instrumental in achieving the interim 'Commended' rating, with a score of 30.7 points. Ventia's innovative pavement design methodology resulted in a reduction in lifecycle materials impacts over 20 years, and the upgrade to LED lights created a 20 percent reduction in Depot electricity use.

A collaboration with the Major Road Projects Victoria, the Department of Transport, and supplier Downer, to facilitate the trial of a sustainable pavement product incorporating recycled soft plastics, has confirmed its suitability for mainstream use and application in major roads and arterials, a finding which is transformative for the industry.

Another highlight was also the involvement of students studying sustainability at partner universities, who helped develop processes such as climate risk scenarios and assessment while providing them with workplace learning experience.

The entire Ventia WRU team played a role in demonstrating leadership in sustainability, pursuing innovation and operating sustainably to reach this milestone. The achievement was made possible by the input and support of our partners and stakeholders, including:

  • our client, Netflow JV, for supporting Ventia to pursue the rating as its service provider
  • Major Road Projects Victoria for participating in workshops, collaborating on the innovation trial and facilitating knowledge sharing across teams
  • WBHO Infrastructure for providing the environmental and sustainability framework for the initial road rehabilitation works.


Our ISCA journey 

Ventia aims to finalise the ISCA rating process for the Western Roads Upgrade in 2022, when the target is an IS 'Excellent' rating, requiring an elevation to achieving a score between 50-74 points. This commitment demonstrates our active commitment to sustainability and our position as a market leader in sustainable infrastructure.

Ventia's learnings in achieving the ISCA Operations rating can be leveraged more broadly across sectors, client projects and processes to improve overall sustainability performance.