International Good Practice Principles for Sustainable Infrastructure

International Good Practice Principles for Sustainable Infrastructure


United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

Type(s) of Tool



Tools applicable to all sectors

Lifecycle Phase(s)

Enabling Environment, Strategic Planning, Prioritization, Project Planning, Concept Design, Procurement, Finance, Detailed Design, Construction, Operation and Maintenance, Decomissioning/Repurposing

Open Source


Language Availability


Country of Origin


Date of Development





The International Good Practice Principles for Sustainable Infrastructure provide globally applicable guidance on the integration of sustainability throughout the entire infrastructure lifecycle, focussing on the “upstream” project level. They help high-level policy- and decision-makers in governments create the enabling environment for sustainable infrastructure that is needed to achieve the SDGs and the Paris Climate Agreement. The ten principles emphasize the importance of infrastructure approaches that respond to service needs and demands, address sustainability the earliest possible in the planning process, integrate all aspects of sustainability as well as relevant governance frameworks and different infrastructure systems and sectors across time and space.

Tool Outcome

The principles can be used to support integrated, systems-level approaches that can increase governments’ abilities to meet a given level of service needs with less infrastructure that is more resource efficient, pollutes less, is more resilient, more cost effective and has fewer risks than “business-as-usual” approaches.

Sustainability Criteria

– Strategic Planning
– Responsive, resilient, and flexible service provision
– Comprehensive lifecycle assessment of sustainability
– Avoiding environmental impacts and investing in nature
– Resource efficiency and circularity
– Equity, inclusiveness, and empowerment
– Enhancing economic benefits
– Fiscal sustainability and innovative financing
– Transparent, inclusive, and participatory decision-making
– Evidence-based decision-making

Contact Information