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Ontario infrastructure investments will be subject to life-cycle assessments

by Mark Sabourin
EcoLog, 12/1/2017 1:47:00 PM

Build on Building Better Lives: Ontario’s Long-Term Infrastructure Plan 2017”, released November 28, 2017, is an update and tweak of a series of plans anchored to the commitment to invest $190 billion in infrastructure over the 13-year period beginning in 2014-15. Ontario says it’s on track and is introducing new measures to respond to the changing needs of communities.

Among them is a commitment to include life-cycle assessment into infrastructure planning, procurement, business case development and decision-making. Life-cycle assessment evaluates the environmental impact of a product or activity from creation, extraction or harvest through to disposal. The move earned quick praise from the Cement Association of Canada and the Canadian Wood Council, both of which represent companies that should benefit from an assessment of the life-cycle cost of infrastructure investments.

“When it comes to life-cycle assessment of construction materials, wood performs exceptionally well,” said Marianne Berube, executive director of the Ontario Wood WORKS! program, in a release.

According to the 2017 plan, Ontario will phase-in its life-cycle assessments. Consultations, which are underway now, will continue through the end of 2017. Come 2018, life-cycle assessments may be integrated into the procurement of some large-scale projects as well as into various ministries’ business cases. Life-cycle assessments will be rolled out more broadly in 2019, and will be part of major infrastructure investments by mid-2020.

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