We want your ideas – because our HERA sustainability fund is now open for ideas from our members!

2021 is going to be an exciting year for us at HERA in the space of sustainability. Even more so, because we’re so very excited to announce a $80K research fund for projects aimed at improving steel’s sustainability performance, particularly in terms of carbon.

It’s no secret that we’re been making a lot of moves to get our industry prepared to play our part in reducing our emissions.


This includes:

  • launching our zero carbon steel offset program,
  • development of a training program for professional engineers on the carbon performance of steel,
  • an update to our assessment of steels contribution to the NZ economy based on the Living Standards Framework, and
  • investigation of steel recycling in NZ.

Criteria for projects

We want our research to drive innovation and positive change that creates clear pathways of opportunity for our members.

Something we see clearly is that the steel industry, like many others – has its sustainability challenges. We see this particular project as a way to identify a way in which we can improve our performance and drive the development of a strategy to play our part in creating a better Aotearoa.



  • Must be for programs performed or managed by HERA.
  • Project must be performed in FY22.
  • Must lead to likely improvements in structural steel’s sustainability performance.
  • Deadline for contacting the team to pitch ideas was 20 March 2021.
  • Deadline for working up a project proposal was 1 April 2021.



  • Preference for improvements in carbon performance.
  • Preference for projects requiring input from HERA staff.
  • Preference for higher impact projects.
  • Preference for research (vs demonstration/training) projects.


Examples include projects that lead to:

  • Extending the lifespan of structural steel buildings or infrastructure
  • Improve durability of structural steel components
  • Reducing waste or improving efficiency
  • Reducing over-specification
  • Increased re-use, re-purposing, recycling etc
  • Facilitate re-use or recycling steel structures
  • Improved design
  • reduced maintenance or coating requirements
  • improved resilience
  • research to develop evidence to support changes in practice/standards etc.


Projects currently in review

Our team is currently reviewing project proposals to go forward to an industry panel for review, which will then go to our HERA Board for approval.

We look forward to announcing the successful project/s at our AGM 19 May 2021.

Update shared by our Manager Structural Systems, Kaveh Andisheh.