Some of Australian industry’s biggest companies are supporting a new initiative that will see them work together to better understand pathways to achieving net zero emissions in supply chains.
BHP, Woodside, BlueScope Steel, BP Australia, Orica, APA Group, Australian Gas Infrastructure Group and Wesfarmers Chemicals, Energy and Fertilisers – which together represent 14 per cent of Australian industrial emissions – have signed on to the Australian Industry Energy Transitions Initiative.
They are joined by National Australia Bank, Schneider Electric and AustralianSuper, who represent the broader system of investments, services, products and knowledge that will be key to supporting industry action towards net-zero supply chains.
Independent, not-for-profit bodies ClimateWorks Australia and Climate-KIC Australia are conveners of the Australian Industry ETI, in collaboration with the Energy Transitions Commission.
It has been developed with the generous support of philanthropic donations, company contributions and funding from the Australian Government, through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. It is supported by the Australian Industry Group and the Australian Industry Greenhouse Network, with research partners including CSIRO and the Rocky Mountain Institute.
The initiative aims to set Australian industry up for a success in a decarbonised global economy, by harnessing industry knowledge to develop pathways and actions that can accelerate emissions reductions across whole supply chains – in sectors where abatement has traditionally faced structural challenges.
Specifically, it will focus on opportunities across five supply chains which collectively contribute more than a quarter of Australia’s annual greenhouse gas emissions and generate exports worth around $160 billion. These include steel, aluminium, liquified natural gas, other metals (such as lithium, copper and nickel) and chemicals (including explosives and fertiliser).
The Australian Industry ETI is chaired by Simon McKeon AO, Chancellor of Monash University, former CSIRO Chairman and former Australian of the Year. He said collaboration, experimentation and shared knowledge would all sit at the heart of the initiative’s work.
“We know that we can find solutions more quickly, and start implementing them, if we’re encouraging collaborative learning and knowledge sharing, especially when it comes to new technology,” Mr McKeon said.
“This initiative provides a platform to generate knowledge and test action through on-the-ground projects that support industry to realise the opportunities of a decarbonising global economy.”
As global efforts to reduce emissions to net zero by 2050 continue and become more urgent, there is an increasing awareness that companies must understand their broader supply chains and help shape the decarbonisation approach across them.
Supply chains embody the highly complex and interconnected nature of the global economy, and include finance, investment and customer decisions, as well as operations such as the extraction of raw materials, processing and distribution. Tackling these complex systems presents additional challenges to industry.
The Australian Industry ETI is a collaborative effort to collectively learn, develop research and find actions that move broader industry sectors toward net zero emissions in supply chains.
“Emissions aren’t contained within national borders and aren’t confined to what happens within a company’s four walls. That’s why a supply chain approach is vital,” said ClimateWorks CEO Anna Skarbek.
“Globally, many countries and businesses are already moving to decarbonise supply chains in heavy industry sectors. There are huge opportunities for Australian businesses if they take a proactive approach to getting into this race.”ClimateWorks CEO, Anna Skarbek
“The good news is that the Energy Transitions Commission and others have shown that technologies can eliminate the emissions from our heavy industry supply chains. Better understanding these opportunities for Australian industry will be a key focus of the initiative.
“We’re pleased to be working with Australian industry participants to develop pathways and actions to support net zero emissions across critical supply chains of the economy.”
In addition to considering opportunities across the Australian economy, the Australian Industry ETI will also have a particular focus on Western Australia.
“With mining and heavy industries driving the economy in Western Australia, focusing some of our effort there will really demonstrate what is achievable nation-wide,” said Chris Lee, CEO of Climate-KIC Australia.
“Taking a systems approach and joining up players within and across supply chains will help move past barriers that individual companies face when reducing emissions as well as support the realisation of new opportunities.”
ARENA CEO Darren Miller welcomed the initiative’s role in uniting some of Australia’s big players in industry towards a common goal of reducing emissions.
“Accelerating the uptake of renewable energy for the industrial sector is a critical part in Australia meeting its long term emissions reductions commitments,” he said. “A fast transition to renewables and alternative fuels will also help industry meet market needs as a global demand for low carbon products grows, which will produce lower energy costs and continue to support jobs in the sector.”
The Australian Industry ETI’s identification of supply chain opportunities will complement the work of other emissions reduction initiatives and programs, including the federal Technology Investment Roadmap, and international collaborations for clean energy and industry transitions.
Other industry leaders are invited to join the project by contacting ClimateWorks Australia or Climate-KIC Australia. Updates will be available online at www.energytransitionsinitiative.org
Other companies in active discussion with the initiative operate across steel, aluminium, other key metals, chemicals, LNG, finance and superannuation.