We understand that the future is what we make it, and that is why we take a long-term approach. Sustainability is fundamental to our business.

Sustainability at John Holland is about building resilience for our communities, our environment, our people, our customers and our business. Together, we’re up for the challenge.

We recognise that due to the large scale of our projects, becoming more sustainable can drive industry-wide outcomes.

Our Approach 

The legacy we leave in communities is just as important as the physical property and infrastructure we build.

In Australia, New Zealand and Asia, John Holland is proud to drive a more sustainable industry by tackling the challenges that matter most to our stakeholders, our communities as well as the global community. We drive this through our ‘Building Resilience’ framework, designed to align with the UN Sustainability Development Goals and guide our planning decisions based on ‘shared value’ principles.

Our Building Resilience framework is made up of four pillars:

  1. Our built and natural environment – To enhance infrastructure in a way that is sensitive to local communities and environments.
  2. Our people – To encourage the know-how and creativity of our people and empower them to thrive.
  3. Our community and partners – To build strong and rewarding relationships with our communities and suppliers.
  4. Leadership and Strategy – To drive a more sustainable industry by showing leadership and encouraging innovation in all areas.

What is our commitment to the UN Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs)?

We are working towards contributing to the following SDGs:

  • SDG 5: Gender equality
  • SDG 8: Industry innovation and infrastructure
  • SDG 10: Reduced inequalities
  • SDG 12: Responsible consumption and production
  • SDG 13: Climate action

John Holland is an active member of the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA), Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA), Australian Constructors Association’s Sustainability Working Party and a founding member of the Australian Supply Chain Sustainability School (ASCSS).



Case studies

John Holland’s commitment to Sustainability is evident in all our projects. We’re working to embed Sustainability in the roles of everyone in our workplace, no matter what their role is, and so our initiative list is overflowing. The below initiatives, aligned with the UN SDG goals, goals just a small fraction of these.

SDG 5 Gender Equality: Addressing the pay gap

  • We initiated a company-wide push on gender parity led by our CEO Joe Barr, which has led to the business closing the gender pay gap. Importantly, we also conduct regular gender pay reviews to ensure it stays closed. We’ve launched a female mentoring program specifically for women working on projects, to support them throughout their careers at John Holland.

SDG 8 Industry innovation and infrastructure: Geothermal Energy Research

  • We partnered with the University of Melbourne to support cutting-edge research to increase the industry’s knowledge of geothermal energy storage. The Metro Tunnel early works project is using a geothermal installation to improve the industry’s knowledge of the cost and benefit of this form of renewable energy.

SDG 10 Reduced inequalities: Pathway Program

  • Our industry-first Pathway Program is run in Victoria to reduce inequalities. We place engineers from refugee, migrant, and marginalised backgrounds on a six-month work placement with the possibility of ongoing employment. We believe the unprecedented infrastructure boom in Australia can be used to open doors to our industry.

SDG 12 Responsible Consumption and production: 

  • Our award-winning Sydney Metro Northwest Rapid Transit (NRT) Project is doing its bit to tackle deforestation by paving the way for large scale sustainability timber applications on infrastructure projects. New station canopies and multi-story parking façades were constructed with 100% responsibly sourced timber.

SDG 13 Climate Change: Assets powered by renewables

  • Canberra Metro Light Rail has been designed and built to be powered by 100% renewable energy. The project will offset all construction and operating emissions to achieve zero net carbon emissions by designing, building, operating and adapting to climate change impacts and social needs of society, which demonstrates leading best practice. This has been done by using traction power regeneration to limit energy loss through braking and acceleration of the LRV’s, closed loop recycled water for the tram wash and world leading asbestos management hydrovaccing activities.