Our Environmental Policy includes pledges to use energy and water more efficiently, to recycle more and to increase our customers’ environmental awareness. It also commits us to keeping our operations carbon neutral, which we’ve done since 2011.
To make our operations carbon neutral, each year we calculate the greenhouse gas emissions from our operations and purchase carbon offsets equivalent to our emissions. We report on our emissions and offsets each year in our annual Corporate Report, and have our emissions and offsets checked as part of our assurance process.
We generate more than 10% of our power at our head office with solar panels on our roof. We’re always looking for ways to improve, which is why we’ve committed to switching to 100% renewable electricity by the year 2020. We’re planning to make this switch by participating in the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project.
We’re part of the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project – a group of organisations that have combined their purchasing power to build a new wind farm in regional Victoria, owned and operated by Melbourne based clean energy company Pacific Hydro.
The Melbourne Renewable Energy Project group is led by the City Of Melbourne and includes Bank Australia, University of Melbourne, RMIT, National Australia Bank, the City of Port Phillip, Moreland City Council, City of Yarra, Federation Square, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Zoos Victoria, Australia Post, Citywide, and NEXTDC.
The group plans to purchase 88 GWh of energy, which is the equivalent to powering more than 17,000 households in Melbourne for a year.
The first wind turbine towers will be installed in early 2018 with the project set to be complete in early 2019. The wind farm at the agricultural community of Crowlands, 205kms from Melbourne, was first proposed in 2007 and is now being made possible thanks to the unique partnership.
Photo credit: Pacific Hydro
Companies can use science-based methods to work out what their own share of worldwide emissions reductions need to be to keep global temperature increase below 2 degrees Celsius compared with pre-industrial temperatures.
Using science-based methods, we’ve worked out that we need to reduce our emissions from gas, the bank’s cars and electricity by 16% by 2025. In technical terms: we will reduce our absolute scope 1 and 2 emissions by 16% by 2025 compared with our 2017 emissions.
We expect to exceed this target when we switch to 100% renewable electricity by 2020.
Ahead of the Paris climate change talks in 2015, Bank Australia made seven commitments as part of We Mean Business, a global platform to demonstrate business leadership on climate action. These commitments have helped shape priorities of our environmental management action plan for the coming years.
Our commitments are:
Adopt a science-based emissions reduction target
We will ensure our emissions are in line with global budgets for limiting temperature increase to under 2°C
Put a price on carbon
We will set an internal price per tonne of carbon and use it in decision making
Commit to 100% renewable power
We will switch our electricity supply to renewable sources
Responsible corporate engagement in climate policy
We will engage consistently and positively with policymakers on climate change
Report climate change information in mainstream reports as a fiduciary duty
We will include information on climate-relevant topics in our Corporate Report
Remove commodity-driven deforestation from all supply chains by 2020
We will stop purchasing products that contribute to deforestation
Reduce short-lived climate pollutant emissions
We will track and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases like hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)