Community & Purpose
Supporting the transition to a net zero carbon economy
“We need to act now and we need to be bold. It’s both a matter of mitigating climate related risks and, at the same time, seizing opportunities to reimagine all aspects of our business and value chain”
- Hamish Reid, Director of Sustainability and Brand at Synlait
Headquartered in Western Australia and with around 107,000 employees, Wesfarmers Limited is one of Australia’s largest listed companies with diversified operations spanning almost 30 retail and industrial businesses.
They’re known for their consumer brands including Bunnings, Kmart and Officeworks but Wesfarmers also has interests in fertilisers, chemicals and the energy sector.
Setting the pace
In September this year, Wesfarmers announced an accelerated agenda to set and achieve net zero emissions for its retail operations by 2030 and its industrial businesses by 2050 - on top of existing 2025 emissions reduction targets.
Naomi Flutter, an Executive General Manager at Wesfarmers, said its climate action was driven by a commitment to contributing positively to the global goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050.
“For us, transitioning to achieve net zero emissions from our business is about doing what’s right and good for the environment and we want to step up and contribute in a responsible way. It’s also what our customers believe in and want from us and so from that perspective it also makes good business sense.”
Building a plan
To achieve its goals, Naomi says Wesfarmers is pulling numerous levers to significantly reduce its emissions.
“We’re investing heavily in energy efficiencies in our retail businesses through new technology, solar panels and LED lighting. And in our industrial business we’re investing in catalyst technologies to reduce emissions intensity.”
A strong partnership
Wesfarmers has banked with ANZ since the 1980s and the bank is supporting the company in its transition.
“We value the role ANZ plays as a key banking partner – especially with respect to the open and constructive dialogue we have with them on our transition agenda,” says Naomi.
Cows at Synlait Milk Limited
Synlait Milk Limited has been an ANZ customer for 20 years. The company’s founders bought their first few Canterbury dairy farms in the year 2000, before expanding into processing in 2008.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) from the food and fibre sector, (and its associated waste) account for around half of New Zealand’s total emissions. Synlait Milk Limited is implementing a range of initiatives to reduce emissions and deliver long-term financial benefits.
Synlait has set targets relating to climate, welfare, water and waste – including an off-farm 50 per cent reduction in GHG emissions per kg of the product by 2028 and an on-farm 35 per cent reduction in GHG emissions per kg of milk solids by 2028.
According to Hamish Reid, Director of Sustainability and Brand at Synlait, “we need to act now and we need to be bold. It’s both a matter of mitigating climate related risks and, at the same time, seizing opportunities to reimagine all aspects of our business and value chain”.
In 2019, ANZ arranged and funded a NZ$50 million sustainability linked loan which has supported Synlait’s sustainability agenda.
“ANZ enabled us to enter into an ESG linked loan, sending two strong signals to our stakeholders,” Hamish says.
“First, that leading banks today recognise that sustainability performance results in lower risk and second, that sustainability performance can lead to financial benefits. Having a diversity of like-minded partners accompanying us in our transition is critical for us to achieve our goals.”
The engagement with our largest emitting customers on their transition plans is a top priority for ANZ, as we seek to support them to manage the climate-related risks and opportunities. Synlait and Wesfarmers are just two of the 100 largest emitting customers we are engaging with on their transition plans.
For detailed information on our progress on selected ESG targets see our 2020 ESG Supplement, available on anz.com/annualreport.
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