Building back better: Infrastructure with green focus

Principles for sustainable recovery and recommendations for building a narrative

As governments at all levels in Canada work through the relief phase of our pandemic response, more attention is shifting to recovery.

What will that recovery look like? Who and what will be prioritized? Which shovel ready projects can municipalities and developers of hard assets highlight as a way to spur immediate job creation once restrictions are lifted? What policies, laws, and regulations will guide the processes?

For example the Sustainable Energy Initiative at York University recently published An Ontario Recovery Plan: Energy, Electricity and Climate Change.

A framework of principles for recovery and green stimulus

On May 7th, the Prime Minister gave us a preview of what the shift to recovery will look like. Here’s what the PM outline as principles for Canada’s plan to build back better, by addressing the needs and gaps in Canada to help us rebuild and recover:

  • Less pollution and greener outcomes

  • More digital

  • More connected

  • Better supports for vulnerable Canadians

  • More quality

The Prime Minister also stated Canada’s the energy sector will play a vital role in the government’s plan to transform Canada:

  • Low-carbon transition strategies

  • Lower emissions and cleaner processes

  • A need for people in the energy sector to bring their vision and innovation

How to prepare your municipality or company for the recovery phase

Communities and developers of hard assets need to be thinking now in a broad manner about their priorities.

Which projects will increase resiliency in the face of future disasters, climate change, and advance your long term goals? How can you rebuild sustainably?

How can you demonstrate being shovel ready? Here are some things to get in line:

  • Preliminary designs

  • Costing

  • Environmental reviews

  • Overall Narrative

    • Highlights of key benefits

    • Capital projects that will address following gaps

      • Economic

      • Environmental

      • Safety and resiliency

      • Energy efficiency and sustainability

      • Infrastructure

This may be difficult as municipalities face increased spending and decreased revenues, but it’s necessary.

With your trusted partners in advocacy, government relations, planning and engineering, identify the funding sources, grants, loans, and models to fund your projects.

Identify the probabilities of success and return on investments.

Key questions and recommendations for building a narrative around your project

Here are our recommendations for you to consider in building the story around your project:

  • Why is it relevant now?

  • How shovel ready is it?

  • What key, un-ignorable benefits does it present stakeholders?

  • Do you have a thoughtful, branded, tightly designed presentation of your project?

    • Prospectus

    • Microsite (even further - what does your parent company website and materials reflect?)

    • Digital advocacy materials

    • Briefing materials for senior decision makers and stakeholders

    • Targeted awareness campaigns

    • Easy to understand visualizations of cash flow waterfall and capital structures

    • Visual demonstration of risk mitigation

    • Q & A’s that shows issues anticipated

      • How could the project be affected by a carbon tax? What are the costs and benefits of the carbon tax to this project?

    • If your project is a core piece of infrastructure, visualize and emphasize all of the things that can and will be built off of it. Modularity.