Sustainability & climateJohn Holland

Sustainability & climate

The projects we deliver today will define tomorrow and be here for generations to come. That’s why sustainability is part of every conversation we’re having.

At John Holland, sustainability is about the bigger picture. At every level of our decision-making, we’re committed to three key aspects: integrating environmental resilience, social progress, and economic health. We’ve always been known for our infrastructure leadership, which includes leading the way in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) risk management, and ensuring consistency across the entire business. We believe transforming lives is part of everyone’s role - for better communities,  a better industry, and a better future - and our ESG targets are integral to achieving this.

Healthy people. Healthy planet. 
Healthy future.

Whether piloting new materials, measuring our impact, or staying ahead of the curve in how we think about construction, we’re embedding Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) into every part of our business. 

We’re proud to have signed Australia’s first sustainability-linked bonding facility. 

One of the largest of its kind in the world, it’s a $1.5 billion commitment that links KPIs for sustainable energy use, adoption of alternative fuels, safety, and social procurement to our financing. It's a tangible example of putting our money where our mouth is.

As part of our response to climate risk, we’re continually looking at new and innovative ways to reduce our energy consumption and carbon emissions, and we’re committed to developing a Net Zero carbon pathway.

Our sustainability framework focuses on four key pillars.

Our sustainability framework focuses on four key pillars.

Leadership and strategy

Good corporate governance underpins our resilience and integrity. We prioritise integrity, ethics, and transparency in the way we conduct ourselves to ensure the best outcomes for our people and clients.

As our operating environment continues to change and we continue to adapt, we’ll focus on how to apply smart engineering and technology solutions to our projects. In 2021, we launched our Digital Transformation Strategy to ensure we continue to embrace technology in the way we do things.

Built and natural environment

Some of our most important decisions concern how we engage with resources and the natural environment. We’re committed to limiting the effects of climate change by reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumption, and water use – carefully choosing the materials we use and limiting waste production.

To lead the Net Zero agenda, we’re partnering with research institutes and our government customers. This enables us to measure and report specifications and standards – those that need to evolve to meet new environmental and technological requirements.

Our people

We want people to choose John Holland to grow their careers –  it’s why our employee offering is one of our key focus areas.

Attracting and retaining the best talent in the industry takes some effort, and we work hard to create a great, rewarding environment in which everyone can thrive and grow.

We look after our employees with a safe and inclusive workplace, innovative training, meaningful career development opportunities, and a supportive culture. In fact, 75% of our managers have completed the Black Dog Mental Health training. In 2022, we’re working towards making that 95%.

Our community and partnerships

Community partnerships and careful supply chain management have always been central to how we work. It’s why we approach every project through the lens of delivering tangible, lasting value to those who live and work there. Our record in this area speaks for itself, and it’s something we’re very proud of.

Our supply chain management continuously monitors any risk of modern slavery in our supply chains. We liaise with our specialists in procurement, people, health, safety, and environment; as well as representatives in key operational areas and joint ventures to ensure everyone is above board.

Green and gold

Green and gold

We value people of all genders, ages and cultural backgrounds. We welcome everyone who identifies as LGBTQI+, has a disability and/or is of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background. 

We strongly encourage our people to take part in our networks and specialist working groups, including: the Pride Network, Celebrate Women Network, GROW Network and the Reconciliation Action Plan working group.

Clean energy, naturally

Clean energy, naturally

It doesn’t get any more sustainable than clean energy. That’s something our Edmonton to Gordonvale Project team, Queensland, knows all about. 

Together, they saw an opportunity for a renewable energy solution: containerised, relocatable solar-hybrid generators to power the project’s three satellite compounds.

Their initiative had far-reaching effects. We now have sustainable site sheds on our North Western Program Alliance, Waterloo, and Bald Hill Melbourne Water projects, and are continuing to expand.

We’re also putting clean energy on the map wherever we can. On the Narrabri to North Star project, our caravans are fitted with solar panels to replace diesel engines. Right across the business, we’re currently transitioning to cleaner fuels and together, we’re creating a cleaner future.

Sustainability works

Sustainability works

Wherever we can, we aim to minimise our impact. One of the ways we’re doing this is through low-carbon concrete. We put this to excellent use in Sydney’s new Rozelle Interchange, using recycled crushed glass sand and plastic fibres as a sustainable alternative to virgin materials wherever possible.

Our Rail Infrastructure Alliance (RIA) used low-carbon concrete to reduce Portland cement content in concrete by 30%, and reduce emission reductions.

Most concrete now poured is tracking above 43% — equivalent to 25,129 tCO2-e embodied emissions saved. As a further commitment to going greener, the Alliance offices recently purchased 100% GreenPower energy, and its tunnel works are fuelled by biodiesel generators.


John Holland pays respect to the Traditional Owners and Custodiams of the land on which we work and live, and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all First Nations peoples today.