The Future of Arctic Infrastructure: Developing sustainability standards and valuing natural assets

Organized by WWF and the Natural Capital Project 13. September 2017

$1 trillion in new infrastructure investment in the Arctic is expected in the coming decades. There is still an opportunity to plan, finance, design, site, and build this infrastructure to be sustainable and resilient. This is vital to creating a sustainable blue economy in the Arctic that achieves the Sustainable Development Goals, supporting human well-being and economic prosperity over the long term. 

Saturday, October 14, 08:00 - 09:00
Location: Skarðsheiði, Third Level


This session will explore the potential for standards and tools to help shape responsible development and investment in the Arctic. Specifically, the interactive discussion will focus on how to co-develop and adapt to the Arctic context: 1) global standards for sustainable and resilient infrastructure and 2) ecosystem service assessment tools. The session will explore how to ensure they are fit for purpose in the Arctic, reflecting local knowledge, values and development goals.

Participants will:

  • Learn about the SuRe© Standard for Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure, developed by Global Infrastructure Basel (GIB) Foundation and Natixis.
  • Provide input on the potential for application of SuRe© in the Arctic context and how the Standard needs to be adapted.
  • Learn about early designs for investment decision support tools to help mainstream considerations of natural assets, biodiversity, ecosystem services and climate in development planning and infrastructure financing in the Arctic.
  • Give input on the most important natural assets and ecosystem services that are valued by people in the Arctic that will feed into a first draft list of ecosystem services to be further co-developed and included in Arctic infrastructure sustainability standards and assessment tools.


  • Emily McKenzie, Chief Adviser – Economics and Sustainability, WWF Global Science: Operationalizing Blue Economy Principles for Sustainable Infrastructure in the Arctic
  • Katharina Schneider-Roos, CEO, Global Infrastructure Basel (GIB) Foundation: The SuRe© Standard for Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure
  • Spencer Wood, Lead Scientist, Natural Capital Project, University of Washington: Developing decision support tools for communities, governments and investors
  • Discussant: Jim Pass, Senior Managing Director, Municipal and Infrastructure Sector Manager and Portfolio Manager


Brad Ack, Senior Vice President, Oceans, WWF-US