PORT of Newcastle has been awarded first place in its sector in Oceania and second place globally by GRESB, the world’s leading environmental, social and governance benchmark.

The GRESB score is an overall measure of ESG performance, represented as a percentage out of 100, which gives quantitative insight into ESG performance over time and against participating peer organisations.

Port of Newcastle CEO Craig Carmody said three years ago, at the beginning of the port’s sustainability and diversification journey, the port achieved a GRESB score of 40.

“We jumped to 75 last year and now, in 2021, we are ranked first across participating ports in Oceania and second globally having achieved a score of 92 out of a possible 100,” he said.

“This is a great achievement for the Port of Newcastle, and we are committed to doing more to build on our sustainability initiatives into 2022 and beyond.

“We welcome these rankings, particularly the GRESB first place ranking achievement in the Oceania sector. It provides important comparison for the port as to how we are tracking against other ports and organisations in measuring our progress against the leading global standards for best sustainability practices.”

This year, Port of Newcastle achieved GRESB 5 Stars, the highest rating and recognition for being an industry leader.

The port said the GRESB number one ranking Bulk Goods Port achievement is the result of a multi-year effort across the Port to diversify for the future and embed environment, social and governance practices across the business and its culture.

“We have handled a mix of trade for 222 years and bring more than 25 different cargoes through our deepwater global gateway, but we have our sights set on more. As the world’s largest coal exporting port, we know that it is imperative for Port of Newcastle to focus on diversification now to ensure a sustainable and economically resilient business for the future,” Mr Carmody said.

“In the past 12 months we have secured an industry first Sustainability Linked Loan which directly links the cost of our debt to achieving our sustainability targets, established an Indigenous STEM Scholarship with the University of Newcastle, secured a 100% renewable energy contract for 90.5% of the Port’s electricity use, gained Silver Partner status in the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment’s Sustainability Advantage Program, and increased diversity and inclusion in our workforce.”

The Port of Newcastle’s ESG strategy sets out the port’s commitment to net zero by 2040 and approved science-based target initiative target of 30% reduction greenhouse gas in line with below 2-degree Celsius trajectories. The port is also committed to undertaking GRESB benchmarking annually.