We recently visited GIB in Basel to discuss the delivery of our project Tools and Approaches. While there, we were interested to learn more about how SuRe® was developed and how it has grown a community of practice around the world.
After three years of continuous development, the first certifiable version of SuRe® – The Standard for Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure version 1.0, was released at COP23 in Bonn.
We asked Katharina Schneider-Roos to give us an overview of the SuRe® standard.
SuRe® is the Standard for Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure. We started to develop it three years ago and it was published last year.
SuRe® was based on another tool we did called GIB Grading. We assessed about 200 projects globally with the GIB Grading and we learned that investors were looking more for a third party certified standard as the GIB Grading tool was a self-assessment tool. That’s why we changed it and took the big step of making it into a full standard in ISEAL.
The Resilience Shift is interested in understanding how SuRe® can have a positive impact in embedding sustainability and resilience principles within projects. We are also following keenly the next steps that GIB is taking in ensuring that SuRe® becomes widely adopted.
More about the SuRe® standard
SuRe® is a global voluntary standard which integrates key criteria of sustainability and resilience into infrastructure development and upgrade, through 14 themes covering 61 criteria across governance, social and environmental factors.
It aims to establish a common language and understanding of sustainable and resilient infrastructure projects between project developers, financiers, local authorities; and to provide guidance on how to manage those aspects.
It can be used to leverage both public and private investments in infrastructure in a way that ensures cost-effective access to critical services while strengthening resilience, maximising social benefits and limiting the environmental footprint.
It applies to infrastructure projects across different types of infrastructure and relies on independent verification and certification by third parties. It builds upon existing work advancing sustainability standards.
We asked Katharina Schneider-Roos to explain how they are laying the foundations for wide adoption of the SuRe® standard.
Q: Could you tell me about the community you built around SURE?
KS-R: GIB started off doing summits with about 500 disciplines where we tried to bring together stakeholders who were, at that time in 2011/12, interested in the topic of sustainable and resilient infrastructure that was then pretty new. From that crowd we drew stakeholders for the SuRe stakeholder council and the SuRe standard committee. As we had set up a structure behind SuRe, it was easier for us to start that process as we already had a very big network of stakeholders interested in sustainable and resilient infrastructure, like developers, investors, development banks, city networks and so on.
Global Infrastructure Basel (GIB) Foundation is a Swiss foundation based in Basel working to promote sustainable and resilient infrastructure through sustainable infrastructure design and financing on a global scale.
Working with us:
GIB is one of the Resilience Shift’s numerous collaborators and we are constantly on the lookout for ideas and suggestions that can help us to shift the thinking and practice of critical infrastructure resilience. You can also subscribe to our blog and Twitter feed to get our updates directly.