Commonwealth Bank of Australia commits to 100% Renewable Energy
Australia’s largest bank, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, announced this week that it has not only signed Power Purchase Agreements worth 65% of its national electricity needs, to be completed by January 2019, but it has also committed to source 100% of its global electricity needs from renewable energy by 2030, joining the RE100 initiative to boot.
There are few more recognizable brands in Australia than the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. More than just the country’s largest bank, generations of children grew up learning the fundamentals of banking through the bank’s Dollarmites program.
Less sentimental, however, but no less important, is the Commonwealth Bank’s announcement this week that it has signed Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) worth 65% of its national electricity needs. Specifically, CommBank signed a 12-year PPA with the 270 megawatt (MW) Sapphire Wind Farm, currently under construction in New South Wales. Upon completion, the signed PPAs will provide the majority of the bank’s operations in New South Wales and the country’s capital powered by renewable electricity. Specifically, the Sapphire Wind Farm will provide 96,000 MWh annually.
“We continue to build on our strong track record of reducing energy use, and subsequent emissions, across our branches and offices. With this agreement, we will further decrease our carbon emissions by 60%,” said Kylie Macfarlane, CBA General Manager of Corporate Responsibility. “To be able to use renewable energy directly from the supplier for 65% of our Australian electricity needs is a significant step towards transitioning to 100% renewable electricity use.”
In addition, CommBank also announced that it was joining the RE100 initiative, becoming the first Australian company to do so as it sets a target to achieve 100% renewable electricity by 2030. The RE100 initiative is led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP, and serves to bring together the world’s leading businesses which have committed to source 100% of their electricity from renewable energy sources.
“Around the world forward-thinking companies want access to clean, cheap power that lowers emissions and increases competitiveness,” said Sam Kimmins, Head of RE100, The Climate Group. “As the first Australian business to join RE100, Commonwealth Bank will achieve exactly that, while helping to lead Australia’s transition to a clean energy future.
“Long-term renewable energy purchasing agreements like this support the development of new energy infrastructure and actively bring more renewables online. We’re confident that other major Australian companies will follow Commonwealth Bank’s lead.”