The benefits of sustainability for businesses

Strengthening Melbourne’s position as a sustainable city can deliver benefits for the business economy and commercialisation of new industries.


Since 2015, Victorian Chamber member and leading global design firm Arcadis has published a Sustainability Cities Index (SCI) based on data prepared by the Centre for Economics and Business Research, which ranks the performance of 100 cities across the globe.

Arcadis delivers sustainable design, engineering, and consultancy solutions for natural and built assets. It finds that, traditionally, Australian cities including Melbourne fare poorly in the overall index, failing to make the top 10 cities.

“The presence of developed world cities including … Melbourne in the bottom quartile highlights that there is no room for complacency,” the 2018 edition of the SCI notes.

With a theme of ‘Prosperity beyond Profit’, the 2022 edition of the SCI will explore planet, people, and profit dimensions of city sustainability, and builds a greater understanding of how cities ensure that they are fit for the future.

  • Planet – This pillar focuses on the condition of the natural environment in cities and measures factors like greenhouse gas emissions, sustainable transport incentives and green space within the city
  • People – This pillar focuses on how well people can live in cities and measures factors like education, health, and income equality.
  • Profit – This pillar focuses on the creation of shared value in a city and measures factors like affordability, ease of doing business, and economic development

An important learning in the report is that Profit and Prosperity don’t have to go hand in hand, and commercially profitable cities that ranks high in economic development can perform poorly in other sustainability metrics.

Special event

The Victorian Chamber is proud to partner with Arcadis as it launches the Global Sustainable Cities Index 2022.

Join us for breakfast on Tuesday 21 June 2022 at the Palladium at Crown to hear from Arcadis Global Cities Director John Batten, a New York-based, world-renowned thought leader in urban sustainability, mobility and water, as he unpacks the findings of the 2022 Global SCI.

He will form part of an expert panel, including City Architect at City of Melbourne and Director of Adams Urban, Rob Adams, CEO of Infrastructure Sustainability Council, Ainsley Simpson, and former CEO of Sustainability Victoria, Claire Ferres Miles, to discuss:

  • The crucial role sustainability plays in the success of business and the role Melbourne can play as a global leader
  • What Melbourne can learn from other global cities and how they are embracing sustainability to enable innovation in their business
  • How business can play a leading role in strengthening Melbourne’s position as a sustainable city.


With more than three decades of experience in the field, John Batten leads a portfolio of 15 global cities for Arcadis with a global team dedicated to delivering sustainable outcomes for the urban environment. He has a wealth of experience in urban planning issues including utility management, water management, environmental compliance, public health, and consumer/public relations.

Rob Adams has over 46 years of experience as a practicing architect and urban designer and, since joining the City of Melbourne in 1985, has led the rejuvenation of central Melbourne.

Ainsley Simpson joined the Infrastructure Sustainability Council in May 2016, working across the infrastructure industry to advance sustainable outcomes through the deployment and development of the IS rating scheme, Australia and New Zealand’s only comprehensive rating system for evaluating economic, social and environmental performance of infrastructure.

As the former CEO of Sustainability Victoria, Claire Ferres Miles, has held executive roles in the Victorian Government, Local Government, Transport for London, and the private sector.

For more information about the event, and to register, click here.

New Memberships for wherever you are in business

Hard times. Good times. Crunch time. Growth time. We’re here to support you at all those pivotal times in your business life. We’ve now tailored our range of memberships to fit wherever you are in business – today and well into the future.

Restricted Page

You are being redirected to our login page!