Leading Australian companies commit to climate change action


Momentum grows ahead of Paris climate talks

SYDNEY – Australia’s leading companies are making significant climate change commitments, to be announced today at the Australian Climate Leadership Summit in Sydney. The Summit is an official lead-in event to the COP21 Paris climate talks, and has been accredited by the French Government.

The Summit will announce that 12 Australian companies including Bank Australia, Origin Energy, Westpac, Infigen Energy, AGL Energy, Singtel Optus, National Australia Bank, ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, Brambles and Teachers Mutual Bank will endorse a total of 38 climate commitments under the We Mean Business ‘Commit to Action’ climate leadership platform. (See full list below).

The climate commitments entail strategic and operational decisions to transition to a low carbon economy. They are part of an international framework and will also be showcased at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris (COP21) in December.

These 12 Australian companies are joining over 250 companies around the world, including over 40 multinational companies and investors that are headquartered or active in Australia, that have made significant climate commitments through the We Mean Business coalition.

The We Mean Business climate leadership commitments encompass seven key areas, including: commitment to adopt science-based carbon emission reduction targets, putting a price on carbon, procuring 100% of electricity from renewable sources, reporting climate change information in mainstream reports, responsible engagement in climate policy, removing commodity-driven deforestation from supply chains by 2020, and reducing short-lived climate pollutants.

CDP’s Director – Australia and NZ, James Day said, “These climate commitments represent a significant shift in the policies and approaches of many of Australia’s leading companies on climate change. It is clear that the transition to a low carbon economy is underway, and that Australian business is beginning to seize the growth and employment opportunities that this transformation offers.”

WWF-Australia CEO Dermot O’Gorman said, “We know that there is strong community support for action to reduce pollution and increase clean energy, so it’s fantastic to see leading Australian businesses making new commitments on climate change today. This growing momentum opens the door for governments to play their part at the upcoming UN climate change meeting in Paris.”

Bank Australia Managing Director Damien Walsh said, “Bank Australia is making all seven We Mean Business climate leadership commitments as part of our longstanding commitment to responsible banking including a healthier planet, and our determination to see Australia transition to a low carbon economy.We are already well on the way to meeting these commitments and see this as good opportunity to stretch ourselves further by looking deeper at how our business impacts the planet including on climate change, and responding accordingly.”

Media contact: Bob Bowden, Foresight Communications, 0412 753 298, [email protected]

Notes to editors: The Australian Climate Leadership Summit is an initiative of CDP, in collaboration with WWF, EY and the Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group with the support of the We Mean Business coalition and the City of Sydney.

Speakers include: Ambassador of France to Australia – H.E. Christophe Lecourtier; NSW Minister for the Environment – Mark Speakman; Australia’s Ambassador for the Environment and lead climate change negotiator – Peter Woolcott; Lord Mayor of Sydney – Clover Moore; Executive GM of Origin Energy – Phil; Craig; CEO of AGL Energy – Andy Vesey; CEO of Australian Ethical Investment – Phil Vernon; South Australia’s Minister for Climate Change – Ian Hunter; CEO of ClimateWorks Australia – Anna Skarbek; CEO of WWF Australia – Dermot O’Gorman; CEO of The Climate Institute – John Connor; CEO of Nestle Oceania – Trevor Clayton; Managing Director of Infigen Energy – Miles George; Executive Director – Growth, Veolia – Rod Naylor; CEO of The B Team – Keith Tuffley; Oceania Climate Change and Sustainability Services Leader, EY – Matthew Bell; CEO of Sendle and Tushare – James Chin Moody; CEO of Ecoult – John Wood; Executive GM – Capital Financing, National Australia Bank – Steve Lambert; and CDP’s Director for Australia & NZ – James Day.

Globally, over 250 companies and 140 institutional investors have made more than 600 climate change commitments. These span every economic sector, 36 countries and represent US$5.6 trillion in total revenue and US$19.5 trillion in assets under management.

See the Australian Climate Leadership Summit conference program: www.climate-leadership.org

All companies and investors headquartered or active in Australia with climate commitments registered through CDP and We Mean Business include:

AGL Energy, ANZ, Australian Ethical Investment, AXA Group, Bank Australia, Brambles, Catholic Super, BT Group, CLP Holdings, Coca Cola Co, Colgate Palmolive, Colonial First State Investment, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, GDF Suez, HESTA, Hewlett-Packard, Honda, IKEA, Kellogg Company, Infigen Energy, Konica Minolta, Lenovo, Local Government Super, L’Oreal, Mars, National Australia Bank, Nestle, Nissan, Novion Property Group, Origin Energy, Pepsi, Plato Investment Management, Shell, Singtel OPTUS, Ricoh, Siemens, Schneider Electric, Swiss Re, Teachers Mutual Bank, UCA Funds Management, Unilever, University of Sydney, Veolia, VicSuper and Westpac.