Australians, and many ASX 200 companies, are becoming increasingly conscious of the future of our carbon emissions. But the role the private sector has to play in Australia’s approach to tackling climate change has been even more in focus since Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s attendance at the virtual Leaders Summit on Climate last week.
The Prime Minister didn’t add much to the climate change debate at the event. But, as the ABC reported, his comments that our efforts in this area would be largely “driven by our… private sector” help shine the spotlight on the future of carbon emissions that many climate-conscious ASX 200 companies are already addressing.
According to a report published by ASIC late last year, these 7 ASX 200 companies have emissions reduction targets that are approved by the independent Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi) and are aligned with the Paris Agreement.
7 ASX 200 carbon-conscious companies
Suncorp Group Ltd (ASX: SUN)
According to Suncorp, the company has concrete plans for sustainable growth.
This ASX 200 share says it is tracking and reducing its operational greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions footprint through its new carbon budget and science-based emissions reduction target.
It plans for a 51% absolute reduction of emissions by 2030.
Origin Energy Ltd (ASX: ORG)
Origin was the first energy company in the world to have its emissions reduction targets approved by the SBTi.
Its emissions reduction strategy is to reduce its direct greenhouse gas emissions by 50%, and emissions caused as a result of its value chain by 25%, by 2032.
Origin plans to be completely carbon neutral by 2050.
The rise of renewables and the impact of emerging digital technologies are creating new opportunities. Which-50 spoke with Origin’s head of Future Energy, Cameron Briggs, about how we are approaching the future: https://t.co/GQXsaICAuU pic.twitter.com/P4SYlXyPdB
— Origin (@originenergy) December 7, 2018
SkyCity Entertainment Group Limited (ASX: SKC)
SkyCity states that, as a member of the casino industry, it works hard to justify its place in society. Thus, it has a number of environmental and social measures in place to support positive practices.
One of these is its commitment to reducing its carbon emissions by 38% by 2030 and its GHG emissions by 73% by 2050.
SkyCity also says that, by 2023, 67% of what it spends on supplies such as food and drinks will come from companies with science-based emission-reduction targets in place.
Dexus Property Group (ASX: DXS)
Around 25% of Australia’s carbon and GHG gas emissions come from the construction, operation and maintenance of buildings. According to Dexus, it is now working on reducing those caused by its own buildings.
The ASX 200 real estate group has concrete plans to reduce its direct carbon and GHG emissions by 70% by 2030. It has also pledged to reduce its value chain’s emissions by 25% by 2030.
The race to become Australia's most sustainable workplace – #betterbuildingscup – is getting festive with our customers at 100 Harris Street in Pyrmont hosting a Sustainable Christmas Gift Market supporting local businesses and a waste-free Christmas. #sustainability pic.twitter.com/srMgmpzH1n
— Dexus (@Dexus) December 16, 2019
Fletcher Building Limited (ASX: FBU)
Fletcher Building aims to be the Australian and New Zealand leader in sustainable building materials and construction.
To get there, it’s pledged to reduce its carbon and GHG emissions by 30% by 2030. It’s also committed to making sure that 67% of its suppliers will have science-based emission reduction targets by 2024.
QBE Insurance Group Ltd (ASX: QBE)
According to QBE, the company has already met some ambitious and modern goals when it comes to battling climate change.
It has already attained its goal of reducing its corporate air travel by 20% and removed all its direct investments in thermal coal. QBE has also reduced all its emissions by 30% – reaching its self-imposed deadline four years ahead of schedule.
QBE is now working to reduce its energy use by 15% by the end of this year. It also plans to use 100% renewable electricity for all its operations by 2025.
— QBE (@QBE) February 18, 2021
Insurance Australia Group Ltd (ASX: IAG)
Insurance Australia got the ball rolling on climate change relatively early. The company published its first sustainability report in 2005, and is already carbon neutral.
It has set goals for emission reductions of 43% by 2025, 71% by 2030 and a 95% by 2050.
Other ASX 200 companies setting targets
The next time we take a look at which ASX 200 companies have set SBTi-approved emissions targets, we might need to write a longer list. At the time of ASIC’s report, Woolworths Group Ltd (ASX: WOW), Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) and Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS) had all committed to set emissions reduction targets in line with the SBTi and the Paris Agreement in the near future.
Currently, Telstra is proposing to be carbon neutral by the end of this year and plans to run its business with 100% renewable energy by 2025. It has also committed to reducing its total emissions by 50% by 2030. Westpac has committed to reducing its emissions by 34% by 2030. The bank is also currently working on creating emission reductions initiatives for its third-party suppliers.