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AECOM President Lara Poloni: Sustainable infrastructure insight

AECOM President Lara Poloni: Sustainable infrastructure insight

 September 23, 2021

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McKinsey's Global Infrastructure Initiative Voices publication features AECOM President Lara Poloni sharing her insights into how the construction industry can address challenges in building more sustainable infrastructure.

Efficient design approaches, new technologies, better benchmarking can help forge sustainable infrastructure

"Sustainability and resilience are often not considered early enough in the infrastructure life cycle. We need to make long-term considerations the default option when looking at the initial business case for infrastructure. And we need to better leverage data, not only to inform the type of asset that might be required but also to better identify the opportunities to maximize sustainability and resilience," explains Lara.

"If we can make infrastructure more socially acceptable—prioritizing more nature-based solutions over gray alternatives, as well as demonstrating the long-term benefits related to public amenities, green space, and air quality—then we stand to receive more community support, which can lead to more efficient and lower-cost delivery."

"Ongoing skills development across the engineering profession is critical. Ultimately, we need to shift our thinking. We need to approach every project through the lens of sustainability, resilience, and long-term community benefit. And that will happen only through developing a high level of carbon literacy and competency around how materials—and design and construction approaches—impact the carbon load of an asset’s design and operation," she adds.

"If we are designing a sustainable, resilient bridge, then we need to consider how it can be constructed from fewer, less carbon-intensive materials at the business-case stage. In this regard, as we develop and leverage our own technical and visual design skills to improve decision making, we also have the opportunity to show communities how these decisions will protect them from future climate impacts."

Read the full article featuring AECOM President Lara Poloni.

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