Mining company Fortescue Metals Group, industry superfund Cbus and professional services firm Aurecon are the most recent additions to the Australian Industry Energy Transitions Initiative.
The initiative is a collaborative effort for industry and business leaders to collectively learn, develop research and take actions that move broader industry sectors towards net zero emissions in supply chains by mid-century.
The Australian Industry ETI is unique in focusing on the opportunities for Australian industry in moving towards net zero emissions in hard-to-abate supply chains, and involves 14 company participants representing a spectrum of interests.
Australian Industry ETI has a specific focus on five supply chains that contribute more than one-quarter of Australia’s annual greenhouse gas emissions and generate exports worth around $160 billion.
These supply chains are in sectors where abatement has traditionally faced structural challenges, and include steel, aluminium, liquified natural gas, other metals (such as lithium, copper and nickel) and chemicals (including explosives and fertiliser).
The initiative’s chair Simon McKeon AO, Chancellor of Monash University, former CSIRO chair, said the ability to attract diverse participation meant the initiative was well-positioned to support Australian industry to be successful in a decarbonised global economy.
“Recently, China, Japan and South Korea followed others in setting net zero emissions targets, and more announcements will inevitably follow,’ McKeon said.
“By coming together across supply chain systems, it allows us to better see the opportunities in Australia and globally.”
He said Australia had one of the most formidable clean energy resource bases and established expertise in exporting critical energy and material resources.
“Australia also has a sophisticated financial services sector, capable of deploying significant capital to finance a transition to net zero,” McKeon said.
Fortescue CEO, Elizabeth Gaines said, promoting a culture of ongoing collaboration is critical to ensuring Australia’s business sector remains in a strong position to take the lead and tackle the challenges associated with climate change.
Fortescue has an operational target to become net zero by 2040.
Nicole Bradford, Cbus Head of Responsible Investment said there is a push from financial regulators in Australia to move from commitments to actions, so collaborative efforts like the Australian Industry Energy Transitions Initiative are incredibly important.
Fortescue joins industry peers BHP, Woodside, BlueScope Steel, BP Australia, Orica, APA Group, Australian Gas Infrastructure Group and Wesfarmers Chemicals, Energy and Fertilisers, which were announced as participants in July. Together, these industry participants account for 15 per cent of Australia’s industrial emissions.