Sustainability Experience

Tony McCartney

Recently I have taken up the challenge of developing a sustainability framework for Auckland Transport (AT).  This role was predominantly governing the development of the policy and framework documentation and socialising/promoting the merits of this approach across the Executive and Board of AT.  As with any alternate approach the hard work was in overcoming the inertia around cost, organisational disruption, and stakeholder confusion.   Using a passionate virtual team across AT we kept the messaging simple, downplayed threats to business as usual, and kept moving forward regardless of criticism.  The most recent framework update on the 2016/17 thirteen publicly promoted outcomes has been welcomed with positive affirmation by executive and board of a job well done.

Key stakeholders such as Auckland Council, the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) and Mana Whenua are all actively engaged and motivated by this achievement.

A core part of the success was the implementation of a sustainability champions program across the organisation.  This entailed bringing together 30 plus staff from all the functional groups and focusing them on specific works streams.  These streams developed sustainable conversations between themsleves and with the representative groups before developing a road map for AT to promote sustainable outcomes across water, energy, procurement and walking/cycling.   This program saw 9 people qualify with a diploma in sustainable management but more importantly embedded a transformation of AT, through these champions, to a more sustainable organisation.