Household names in Australia such as Ausgrid, Melbourne Airport, Brisbane Airport, NSW Ports (Botany and Kembla), the Port of Brisbane, Southern Cross Station in Melbourne and Northern Territory Airports. (Darwin Airport and other NT airports) will for the first time have emissions reduction targets through to 2030 and beyond.
The unprecedented initiative was announced today by IFM Investors, who own or co-own the assets on behalf of 7 million working Australians who are members of industry superannuation funds.
The targets will see emissions reduced by more than 200,000 tonnes CO2 equivalent annually by 2030 – the same as removing almost 70,000 cars from the road. The emissions cuts will prevent millions of tonnes of carbon entering the environment over the life of the assets.
This significant piece of work gained momentum when the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) invested $150 million last year to help drive emissions reductions and promote greater transparency and emissions reporting at some of Australia’s largest infrastructure assets.
The assets have established emissions reduction targets ranging from 8-25 per cent by 2024 to 38-100 per cent by 2030. IFM Investors has worked closely with the assets and their other co-owners to commit to meaningful emissions reductions, while maintaining returns for its investors.
The infrastructure assets have initiated sweeping programs to reduce carbon emissions through alternate power sources, the uptake of electric and low emissions vehicles, LED lighting, rooftop and large scale solar, smart management systems and energy efficient office spaces.
Ian Learmonth, CEFC CEO, said: “These infrastructure assets will operate for generations, with the targeted emissions reductions having the potential to make a material impact on cutting Australia’s carbon footprint. We congratulate IFM Investors and the asset managers for their leadership in lowering emissions and ensuring their businesses are making an important contribution to Australia’s carbon abatement task.
“This comprehensive program of activity sets an important example for other major infrastructure owners and managers in Australia. Cutting carbon emissions can deliver a long-term dividend to the environment and in most cases an improved financial performance.”
Michael Hanna, IFM’s head of Australian infrastructure said: “IFM Investors is pleased to be taking an active role as a major infrastructure investor to work with the CEFC and our assets’ management teams to set carbon abatement targets and commit to annual progress reporting.
“This exciting initiative represents a genuine commitment and start to aligning our assets to the Paris Agreement, and it makes perfect business sense by reducing costs, mitigating future business risks and contributing to outcomes that our customers value.”
The latest data from the Clean Energy Regulator shows that infrastructure-related emissions account for more than half of Australia’s total carbon output, with power stations alone accounting for 50.3 per cent of emissions.
The CEFC’s investment in April last year was the corporation’s first equity commitment to Australia’s diversified infrastructure sector.
IFM Investors will apply the lessons learnt from its Australian infrastructure assets to its global portfolio.