This week’s ecologiQ Greener Infrastructure Conference in Melbourne has put the spotlight on the enormous economic and sustainability opportunities available to our sector through the embrace of circular economy principles.
Presented by the Major Transport Infrastructure Authority (MTIA), the event explored the role of infrastructure in driving a circular economy, starting with recycled and reused materials, and the economic and resource factors shaping the industry’s greener future.
This included a focus on how procurement and government policy are driving change in how waste is used, trends across the supply and demand spectrum and developing a shared vision of where innovation can go in the future.
As conference attendees heard, to fully realise the benefits it is essential to incorporate circular economy thinking in the design phase of projects, considering materials over their entire life cycles and making sure industry is using the right materials for the right projects and services.
Collaboration and innovation will both be crucial – and it is important to make sure those efforts are not stymied by inflexible or outdated regulatory settings that may be inhibiting the use of recycled materials.
The conversations also recognised that innovation comes with risk and reward. It is important for policy makers and industry participants to need to accept this and work collaboratively to address risks.