Major infrastructure asset owners commit to emissions targets

Melburne Airport emissions reduction

Asset owners across Australia including Melbourne Airport, Brisbane Airport, Northern Territory Airports (Darwin Airport and other NT airports), Ausgrid, NSW Ports (Botany and Kembla), the Port of Brisbane, and Southern Cross Station in Melbourne, have committed to emissions reductions targets to 2030 and beyond.

The initiative was announced by IFM Investors, who own or co-own the assets on behalf of seven million working Australians who are members of industry superannuation funds.

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.

These unprecedented 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 in 2018 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 eight to 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.

CEFC CEO, Ian Learmonth,, 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 Investors’ 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 align 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 CEFC’s investment in April 2018 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.

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