Infrastructure – A Crucial Key for Resource Efficiency, Sustainability and Resilience




Topics: Sustainable and inclusive cities and buildings
Keywords: Infrastructure, Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure, Green Infrastructure, Sustainable Development Goals, SDG

Hans-Peter Egler1, Raul Frazao1, Silvio Leonardi2

1Global Infrastructure Basel (GIB) Foundation, Switzerland; 2true& llc;


Due to its significant contribution to socioeconomic development, its huge environmental impacts and its key role in a functioning economy, adequate infrastructure development is vital for our sustainable future. The way infrastructure such as roads, sewage systems, power plants and hospitals are developed is central to tackling today’s most pressing challenges: improving resource efficiency; advancing sustainability; and improving society’s resilience against stresses.

However, several obstacles hamper their adequate implementation: the low level of know-how regarding environmental, social and governance (ESG) requirements; the weak capacities of project sponsors, designers and developers; the lack of well-structured, bankable projects; and the lack of a standardised approach.

To overcome these obstacles, Global Infrastructure Basel (GIB), a Swiss not-for-profit foundation, envisions through its activities a world where sustainable and resilient infrastructure is the norm rather than the exception. To achieve this vision, GIB launched SuRe® – The Standard for Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure – at COP21 in Paris. Applying this certification standard will allow procuring authorities, investors and project developers to include state-of-the-art sustainable and resilient criteria into their project. The first field-test has provided important insights into the potential of sustainable and resilient infrastructure, and revealed further improvements regarding the development of the standard.

GIB has also started a global capacity building initiative to enhance the capacity of the public sector, financiers and project developers. In this regard, GIB focuses in particular on the role to the public sector due to its potential to positively influence the process at large. Developing the capacities sets the right impulses to overcome the obstacles to sustainable and resilient infrastructure. With the envisaged common understanding between key stakeholders, infrastructure can be planned, built and operated whilst also respecting the planetary boundaries.

Keywords: Infrastructure, Sustainability, Resilience, Resource Efficiency, Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure, Green Infrastructure; Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs.


Hans-Peter Egler is the CEO of Global Infrastructure Basel (GIB) Foundation, a leading global non-profit foundation dedicated to promoting sustainable infrastructure design, financing practices and fostering market-based sustainable development around the world.


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