25 February 2020
Local projects driving global benefits
TSA’s Reuben Cohn, Project Manager and member of Engineers Without Borders Australia, unpacks how our work at TSA has real impact on the continued wellbeing of our global community.
We are living in a time of great opportunity and great difficulty. Never has the world seen such prosperity. There are more women receiving an education, more people with access to markets and the internet, and a continuing decrease in infant mortality globally.
Yet in many ways it feels like we as a global community are assailed with continued problems. First in the year 2000, then in 2015, the United Nations set out development goals with the aim to “achieve a better and more sustainable future for all”. As of the time this is published, water scarcity impacts 40% of the global population and over 700 million people still live in poverty, with some of those here in our backyard of Australia and New Zealand.
There are currently 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) due to be completed by 2030, to try and address many of the largest challenges facing the world today, ranging from sustainable water and energy, through to sustainable cities and reduced inequality.
TSA’s mission to leave a positive impact is commensurate with the UN’s goals. Our commitment to our corporate social responsibility is coupled with the delivery of projects which significantly and materially contribute to meeting several of the SDGs.
SDG 3 relates to Good Health and Wellbeing. This SDG aims to build on the huge improvements in child and maternal mortality made over the past decade and to minimise or eradicate a variety of incommunicable and communicable diseases by 2030. The SDG addresses a range of targets, from lowering vehicular deaths to substance abuse to medical research.
TSA is currently involved in planning and delivering hospitals including two key NSW hospitals – the new Tweed Valley Hospital and the redevelopment of the John Hunter Health and Innovation Precinct in Newcastle. This facilities bring increased and state of the art medical services to regional centres.
SDG 4 covers Quality Education. This SDG recognises that nearly 10% of the children in the world do not receive a primary education, and that half of the primary aged children who are out-of-school live in conflict-affected areas. The SDG has several targets aimed at addressing literacy and numeracy deficiencies, gender disparity, and safe education facilities which are inclusive and effective learning environments.
TSA is very active in the education sector, with a number of projects underway in both the primary and tertiary areas, with each new facility designed and built for inclusive learning.
SDG 11 focusses on Sustainable Cities and Communities. This SDG notes that the world’s cities occupy just 3% of the Earth’s land, but account for over 60% of the energy consumed globally. As urbanisation and migration bring more than half the world’s population into cities, the SDG has targets covering affordable houses, accessible services and integrated sustainable development.
TSA has extensive experience in various infrastructure sectors. It is currently providing support for the NSW Government’s Ferry Wharf Upgrade Program which aims to upgrade the ferry network to be accessible for those with disability impediments. Aligning with SDG Target 11.2 for accessible and sustainable infrastructure, the program seeks an Infrastructure Sustainability score of Excellent through the ISCA review process and includes climate change adaptation measures in anticipation of rising sea levels.
With the United Nations looking to the private sector to step up in-lieu of global public leadership, TSA is will continue to build on its history of delivering social infrastructure. I have presented to the Australian construction industry on mobilising its domestic capacity to meet the goals domestically and abroad. Together with our clients and industry partners, we can make a material improvement to our global community.