Skip to Main Content
Auckland Transport


The City Rail Link (CRL) will be designed, constructed and operated to the highest sustainability standards and aims to set the benchmark in New Zealand.

Image of "The Junction" pocket park at the top of Symonds Street.Image: "The Junction" at the top of Symonds Street - a vacant CRL property that was transformed into a community pocket park with seating, a community noticeboard, grass, planter boxes and wildflowers.

CRL's sustainability vision

  • Minimise the project’s impact on the natural environment and its use of non-renewable resources.
  • Respond to the principles of kaitiakitanga
  • Work with local businesses and the community to enhance and protect the economic and social benefits of the project.
  • Make a positive contribution to community sustainability, health and wellbeing.
  • Promote the safety, comfort and wider social and environmental benefits in the design of stations and public spaces.


Kaitiakitanga includes:

  • Protecting, restoring, enhancing the mauri (life supporting capacity) of te Ao Māori.
  • Fulfilling spiritual, emotional and inherited responsibilities to the environment.
  • Maintaining mana over te taiao (the environment).
  • Ensuring the welfare of the people.

In Tamaki Makaurau it is Mana Whenua who are Kaitiaki.

The aspiration of the CRL project to be exemplary in the practice of sustainability – encompassing the four well-beings (environmental, cultural, social and economic) – aligns and supports kaitiakitanga.

A CRL Mana Whenua forum has been established for the purposes of undertaking kaitiakitanga responsibilities associated with the project.  The forum comprises those Mana Whenua groups who expressed an interest in being involved in the CRL project and its related activities. 

The eight mana whenua who self-identified their interest in CRL, and who are part of the forum are:

  • Ngāi Tai Ki Tāmaki
  • Ngāti Maru
  • Ngāti Paoa
  • Ngāti Tamaoho
  • Ngāti Te Ata Waiohua
  • Ngāti Whātua o Ōrākei
  • Te Ᾱkitai Waiohua
  • Te Kawerau a Maki

ISCA Infrastructure Sustainability rating

The CRL project has adopted the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia’s (ISCA) Infrastructure Sustainability (IS) rating framework. It is one of the pilot projects using this framework in Aotearoa.

The framework is a comprehensive rating and certification tool for evaluating sustainability across the project's design, construction and operation.

The CRL project aims to achieve an overall rating of “excellent” by satisfying the criteria within the 6 themes:

Crl Sustainability Icon Set 

The IS rating tool focuses us on:

  • Modelling and measuring resource consumption.
  • Identifying and implementing feasible opportunities to reduce consumption.
  • Achieving significant reductions in resource use across the infrastructure lifecycle.

CRL is working with Mana Whenua to recognise Te Tiriti o Waitangi and identify opportunities to respond to New Zealand’s cultural context within this framework, ensuring the sustainability criteria are compatible with te Ao Māori.

CRL was recently awarded a "Leading" Infrastructure Design rating by ISCA. Read our Sustainability Rating news article for more information.

Find out more about the IS rating tool on the ISCA website.

Carbon footprint

The City Rail Link project is the first public transport project in New Zealand to measure its carbon footprint. AT is calculating the carbon emissions associated with the construction and operation of the stations and tunnels to produce a carbon budget for the project.

During construction, data from energy, waste and water reports as well as delivery information for materials will feed into the carbon footprint calculations. Considering opportunities for innovation and improvement will also be part of our ongoing analysis.

Zero waste to landfill

Throughout construction, the project is striving to send zero waste to landfill. Designing for waste minimisation is a priority to support this aspirational goal, and our contractor's waste management plans (which will be key) will identify:

  • Likely sources of waste and when they will arise.
  • Strategies for implementing the waste management hierarchy of avoid – reduce – reuse – recycle – recover – treat – dispose.
  • Systems to monitor and report on waste.
  • Predicted quantities and diversion paths.

Monthly reporting

To support our understanding of the CRL sustainability journey and to contribute to the IS rating, we will be monitoring and reporting on our energy and water use, and waste generation.

Delivering CRL Sustainability - Annual Review 2015-2016

This report outlines the CRL’s sustainability journey to date. Read about our vision, the sustainability approach, how we are reducing the construction and operational impacts, striving to send zero waste to landfill and engaging positively with the local community.

Read our Sustainability Annual Review 2015-2016 (PDF 5MB).

For more information

Contact Auckland Transport