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State of the Practice: Sustainability Standards for Infrastructure Investors

TitleState of the Practice: Sustainability Standards for Infrastructure Investors
Publication TypeWorking Paper
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsBennon, M, Sharma, R
KeywordsWorking Paper

Infrastructure development and investment has a profound impact on the environment and local communities, and governments worldwide have continued to develop and refine regulatory reviews for large infrastructure projects to better asses their environmental impacts. Environmental and social metrics for the institutional investors and fund managers that invest in and manage infrastructure, however, are a relatively new development. Today several sustainability assessment tools have been developed to assist infrastructure investors in measuring and managing the environmental and social impacts of their portfolios. This study includes a detailed review of a dozen assessment tools available to infrastructure investors with cross-sector investment portfolios. They include project screening tools, which may be used for the detailed assessment of an individual project, and accounting tools designed to standardize sustainability reporting across investors. The reviews include assessments of environmental criteria addressed, the assessment process, and the specific metrics included. The study draws conclusions as to the future of sustainability assessment in the infrastructure sector and the challenges in environmental and social metric development for infrastructure.