Eight of Australia’s largest industrial companies have agreed to work together to make their operations carbon neutral by 2050. 

BHP, Woodside, BlueScope Steel, BP Australia, Orica, APA Group, Australian Gas Infrastructure Group and Wesfarmers – which together represent 14 per cent of Australian industrial emissions – have signed on to the Australian Industry Energy Transitions Initiative (ETI). 

Backed by the CSIRO and Australia’s Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), 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. 

It aims to set the Australian industry up for a success in a decarbonised global economy, as global efforts to reduce emissions ramp up, by harnessing industry knowledge to develop 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 that 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).

Other corporates involved in the initiative include National Australia Bank, Schneider Electric and AustralianSuper, which represent the broader system of investments, services, products and knowledge that will be key to supporting industry action towards net-zero supply chains. 

“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,” said Simon McKeon, chair of the Australian Industry ETI. 

“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.”

Hannah McCaughey, Group Executive Transformation & Technology, APA Group which has signed on to the initiative said, “APA is proud to support this industry initiative. Working together to unlock new technologies is fundamental to Australia’s low carbon future and will support the economic recovery.”

ARENA CEO Darren Miller said that accelerating the uptake of renewable energy for the industrial sector is a critical part in Australia meeting its long term emissions reductions commitments.

“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,” Miller said. 

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