IISD defines sustainable infrastructure as assets that:
- Lower carbon and environmental footprints
- Conserve natural ecosystems and biodiversity
- Optimize the use of nature-based infrastructure
- Move beyond compliance on core labour and human rights standards
- Trigger technological and industrial innovation across value chains
- Spur investment in education, skill building, and R&D
- Increase long-term employment
- Are financially viable
- Crowd in domestic investors and businesses
- Increase opportunities for foreign direct investment
- Optimize value for money for taxpayers and investors across the asset life cycle
Infrastructure investment is a powerful driver of economic activity. Done right, it holds enormous potential for alleviating poverty, improving access to basic services, creating employment and business, and ultimately contributing to the well-being of people and the planet.
Emerging markets and developing economies need vast investments for new infrastructure to spur growth. At the same time, advanced economies need equally large amounts to replace or upgrade ageing public assets.
IISD provides research and advisory services on infrastructure and project finance. We help policy-makers and their many stakeholders appreciate the technical dynamics of investing in both large and small projects and help develop their skills in managing project and infrastructure finance.
IISD also focuses on natural infrastructure, defined as an area or system that is either naturally occurring or naturalized and then intentionally managed to provide multiple benefits or "ecosystem services" for the environment and human well-being.
We are working to advance the conversation around implementing and financing natural infrastructure in Canada and around the world.
Learn more about sustainable infrastructure
The Nature-Based Infrastructure Global Resource Centre
The leading global hub for nature-based infrastructure (NBI). Together, we can help build a better, fairer, and more sustainable future through NBI projects.
Sustainable Asset Valuation (SAVi)
A simulation tool to calculate the costs of risks and externalities, SAVi is built on systems dynamics and project finance models customized to projects, portfolios and policies.
Tokenization of Infrastructure: A blockchain-based solution to financing sustainable infrastructure
This report presents how tokenization can address some of the fundamental challenges of financing sustainable infrastructure projects.
Credit Enhancement for Sustainable Infrastructure
The paper identifies the demand and supply-side barriers for upscaling credit enhancement solutions for sustainable infrastructure projects.
Learn more about natural infrastructure
The Value of Natural Infrastructure
How municipalities advance climate change adaptation through management of natural infrastructure assets that provide municipal and ecosystem services.
The Multiple Benefits of Natural Infrastructure
We explain exactly what natural infrastructure is and all the multiple benefits that it brings to humans and to the environment.
Combatting Canada’s Rising Flood Costs: Natural infrastructure is an underutilized option
This report presents ample evidence to suggest that efforts by governments to limit flood risk may be consistent with – and reinforce – their fiduciary responsibility to administer good governance.
Executive Director, IISD Europe; Senior Director, Economic Law & Policy
Lead, Public Procurement and Sustainable Infrastructure Policy and Coordinator of the NBI Global Resource Centre
Senior Advisor & Lead, Sustainable Finance
Director, Water Management
Director, Adaptation (Canada)
System Dynamics Analyst
Senior Communications Officer, Economic Law & Policy
Cesar Henrique Arrais
Senior Manager, Communications & Engagement
Sustainable Asset Valuation of Wastewater Treatment Infrastructure in South Africa
This report presents the results of a Sustainable Asset Valuation (SAVi) assessment for wastewater treatment infrastructure in South Africa
Pathways to Sustainable Cities
Urban planning needs to be inclusive and responsive to the needs of local communities and build on participatory approaches that foster the engagement of marginalized actors.
Sustainable Asset Valuation (SAVi) of Tree Planting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
This report presents the results of a Sustainable Asset Valuation (SAVi) assessment for tree planting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Guidebook on the Management and Financing of Soil Rehabilitation Projects in China
Drawing on best practices worldwide in funding environmental rehabilitation, this guidebook explores innovative design and the use of financial mechanisms to finance and manage soil remediation projects.
Multiple benefits of the Hondsbossche and Pettemer sea dunes
An assessment with the Sustainable Asset Valuation (SAVi) methodology by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) showed that the Hondsbossche and Pettemer (H&P) sea dunes outperformed conventional flood protection infrastructure.
Message to mayors: cities need nature
To thrive, cities must lean into nature. That means having open green spaces and interconnected waterways to prevent floods; green roofs and walls that reduce temperatures and produce food; and forests planted as green belts to oxygenate urban areas and regenerate ecosystems.
Sustainable Asset Valuation (SAVi) of Forest Restoration in the Brantas River Basin, Indonesia
In this report, we present a SAVi assessment that quantifies the ecosystem services and economic impacts of the planned reforestation and water retention wells in the Brantas River basin in Indonesia.
You might also be interested in
Government purchasing power should be leveraged towards buying the most sustainable goods, services, and works.
Climate Change Adaptation
As climate risks escalate, we help governments and communities anticipate, cope, and adapt.
Sustainable finance has gained considerable traction in recent years, becoming a significant trend in the financial industry.