State government office Sustainability Victoria was established in 2005 to facilitate and promote environmental sustainability in the use of resources. A statutory authority with a board of directors appointed by the Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Sustainability Victoria is leading a new online initiative: a directory that features products containing recycled contents for infrastructure projects.
The directory lists products such as pavement, piping and irrigation, road base, soils, fencing, furniture and playgrounds. It comes as part of a wider push from the government to meet sustainability goals. Other similar initiatives have included an ad hoc use of recycled products on major transport infrastructure projects. Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan notes that the project, titled Recycled First, hope to bring a more uniform approach to the use of recycled products in industry and see recycled materials take precedent over new ones.
Sustainability Victoria’s online initiatives comes amidst struggles for the construction sector following the impact of world wide global pandemic, COVID-19. The coronavirus, as it is commonly known, has cause unintended consequences in more places around the world then could have been imagined, but there are both good and bad sides to its coming. Whilst lockdown and social distancing measures brought a halt to the construction industry for the early part of 2020, this sudden stop to business has proved the perfect opportunity for some to ‘reboot’ in the digital sphere. Like others forced to adapt around the globe, Australia’s construction industry has used the physical pause to emerge after a much needed period of digitalisation according to some. Bill Ruh, CEO Digital, of online platform Lendlease is one of those that says: “Digitisation means we’re now using the huge amount of computational power available to us to bring together and crunch the numbers on the millions of separate decisions made every day across our sector.” Her thoughts extended in reflection on the current moment: “In the context of COVID-19, this digital revolution will play a hugely important role in how we live and work more effectively through future pandemics.”