A lack of know-how and incentives is limiting the development of sustainable infrastructure projects in the Latin American region, Bernardo Zavelev, sustainability analyst for real estate firm Colliers International, told BNamericas.
Governments can help encourage sustainability by launching tenders promoting sustainable construction for public transport, port, highway and bridge projects, the analyst said.
Tenders that involve both construction and operation of projects are the most helpful, as they encourage builders to use sustainable materials and processes that will provide economic benefits in the operation and maintenance phase, according to Zavelev.
The international funding available for socially responsible projects could also help stimulate sustainability in infrastructure, Maia Seeger, executive director of social responsibility consultancy SustentaRSE, told BNamericas.
"Any organization from either the public or private sector applying sustainable practices will be more successful in achieving its goals than those who don't," Seeger said.
In general terms, sustainable construction can lead to 30-50% savings in water consumption, uses 24-50% less energy and produces 50-90% less waste in the long term than traditional construction methods.