Member spotlight: Anthony Kane

Who are you and what do you do?

I’m Anthony Kane, the President and CEO of the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI). All ISI management and operational duties fall under my purview, including overseeing a diverse staff dedicated to sustainable infrastructure. In addition, I lead ISI’s growth- and business-development strategies globally. Networking with sustainability professionals and educating infrastructure stakeholders are also essential to what I do at ISI.

Why did you join ICSI?

ISI wants to move the needle when it comes to sustainable infrastructure. We have a window of opportunity right now to transform our processes and prioritize sustainability, resilience, and equity in the built environment. So, I joined ICSI as a way to network with others, collaborate, and make things happen. When we put our minds together, we can accomplish great things.

What is the relevance of sustainable and resilient infrastructure in your day-to-day role?

ISI is a non-profit impact organization, and our signature framework – Envision® – is the blueprint for building sustainable and resilient infrastructure. Every day, I work with Envision Sustainability Professionals (ENV SPs), member organizations, and partners in the architecture, engineering, and construction (a/e/c) industry to train and credential individuals on the framework and to verify the sustainability and resilience of infrastructure projects.

What contribution can you make to transformative change for our infrastructure systems?

If every community followed the Envision framework, rating system, and process, we could transform infrastructure systems globally. Envision can empower countries and communities to meet their GHG emission targets, combat climate change, create good-paying local jobs, and foster environmental justice. Envision can bring about transformative change on a grand scale if widely adopted.

Give an example of something you consider to be best practice for sustainability and/ or resilience?

Equity is often overlooked in the built environment, and it is vital that we focus on making infrastructure more equitable. ISI is committed to emphasizing the significant role that equity plays in the long-term value of infrastructure to society. COVID-19 has taught us that equity needs to be baked into our processes. Failure to do so will only exacerbate future challenges.

What has recently caught your eye as particularly innovative in sustainability?

Nature-based solutions – as opposed to traditional grey infrastructure systems – are genuinely innovative and inspiring. The array of vast ideas being promulgated are fresh and exciting. Yes, some are difficult to achieve and implement, but they are promising – what an excellent direction for exploration!

What sustainability and resilience guidance, tool, or standard do you use most frequently or are most anticipating in the coming months?

Ha, that is an easy question, our Envision framework! But honestly, hundreds of communities around the globe are using Envision to meet their sustainability, resiliency, and equity goals. Transformative change has to happen, and we are happy to play our part in making that change possible.

What are you looking forward to this year? Personally, or professionally?

I am looking forward to the renewed sense of urgency and excitement I see in people when it comes to sustainable development. COVID-19 has caused us all to reevaluate what really matters in our lives and how we want to spend our time and energy when it comes to our careers. Most people I know in the infrastructure industry took this path because they wanted to do new and exciting work and to make a positive difference in the world. Sustainability is a way for us all to find fulfillment and enjoyment in our work while leaving behind a positive legacy for future generations.

What is the one thing you commit to changing this year?

I am focusing on engaging more with the federal government to support local and municipal sustainable infrastructure goals. We absolutely must prioritize sustainability and resiliency – starting now – to combat climate change. Not doing so will be costly in the long term.  Sustainability should be embedded into how we think at every level of government to bring about urgent change.

What does this photo tell us about what matters to you?

I love nature and the outdoors, but I also enjoy well-designed cities. One of my favorite places is Puerto Rico which has the greatest ecological diversity in the United States. However, it has also recently faced some of the hardest economic, social, and environmental challenges. I love sustainability because it includes preserving the rich ecological diversity of the planet while also creating healthy, resilient, and prosperous communities.