Reducing WesCEF’s carbon footprint
WesCEF recognises it has a role to play in addressing climate change and reducing its carbon footprint for current and future generations.
WesCEF has always been an early adopter of emissions reduction technology. The installation of catalysts in its nitric acid plants from 2011 has resulted in a significant reduction in emissions. In the 2021 financial year, 742,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions were avoided using this technology.
As the largest emitter of carbon dioxide in the Wesfarmers Group, WesCEF currently emits approximately 880,000 tonnes a year of Scope 1 and 2 emissions, primarily from its Chemicals businesses.
WesCEF aspires to net zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2050, which it aims to achieve through investment in
research, technology, energy and transport efficiency, and process optimisation.
To ensure climate change is coordinated and managed across WesCEF, a Climate Change Policy was introduced this year, along with the formation of a dedicated Climate Opportunities team to lead the organisation’s development of a roadmap to achieve WesCEF’s emissions reduction target.
Wide consultation with key internal and external stakeholders will inform the roadmap and when complete, the roadmap will guide WesCEF’s focus on abatement efforts.
At present, no known cost-effective technologies exist for WesCEF to attain net zero emissions while maintaining Wesfarmers’ objective of providing a satisfactory return to shareholders. However, WesCEF also recognises there is considerable investment and innovation with respect to climate change and it expects rapid technology development in the coming years. As a result, the roadmap will be a living document that will evolve as technology develops.
A range of climate change initiatives are also either underway or being investigated, including:
- becoming a founding member of the Australian Energy Transition Initiative, which involves other industrial giants as well as banks, superannuation companies and not-for-profit organisations, aiming to develop pathways and actions that can accelerate emissions reductions across whole supply chains
- sponsoring CSIRO research into carbon capture and utilisation options
- continuing to improve the abatement catalysts in our nitric acid plants which convert greenhouse gases into passive, inactive gases that are safe for the environment, to limit nitrous oxide emissions.
To further understand its complete carbon footprint, WesCEF is expanding its reporting around Scope 3 emissions.