SUSTAINABILITY Advantage, an NSW government program, has commended the Port of Newcastle on its commitment to improving environmental practices.

The program, run by the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, awarded the port silver partner status, recognising the port’s sustainability achievements.

Port of Newcastle CEO Craig Carmody welcomed the Silver Partner status announcement and said the port’s ESG strategy is critical to its ability to create a safe, sustainable and environmentally responsible port for future generations.

“As custodians of the region’s most critical asset, it is imperative that we think in decades not years or months. By taking this long-term approach to our business strategy and embedding ESG initiatives and thinking into everything we do, we are working to create a strong, thriving Port that continues to support local jobs and the economic prosperity of the Hunter and NSW economies,” Mr Carmody said.

“Over the past two years we have made significant progress towards achieving our ESG strategy commitments through key initiatives – including the transition of 75% of our vehicle fleet to electric vehicles; and securing a 100% renewable energy contract for 90.5% of our electricity usage, the remainder to be fully renewable by end of 2021. To date, we have reduced 35% of scope one and two emissions directly generated by Port of Newcastle. It is fantastic to have those efforts recognised through Sustainability Advantage awarding Port of Newcastle Silver Partnership status in the program.”

Sustainability Advantage director Mick O’Flynn said Port of Newcastle has made remarkable progress in their sustainability journey since joining the program in 2019.

“Sustainability Advantage is proud to work alongside innovative businesses like Port of Newcastle who are leading the way in how businesses adopt sustainability and environmental practices to reimagine and reshape the future. Through its genuine commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, Port of Newcastle is making a significant impact to the future prosperity of the Hunter and NSW regions,” Mr O’Flynn said.

Port of Newcastle senior manager ESG Jackie Spiteri said through the Sustainability Advantage program the port has been able to align its ESG and diversification strategies with the principles of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

“Port of Newcastle’s membership to the Sustainability Advantage Program has been a critical tool in guiding the development of the Port’s sustainability commitments set out in our ESG strategy. By aligning sustainability initiatives across our operations with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals we are taking a leadership role in the business community and are actively contributing to sustainable development targets globally,” Ms Spiteri said.

“Port of Newcastle’s ESG strategy lays out our commitment to net zero by 2040 and science-based target initiative of 30% reduction greenhouse gas in line with below two-degree trajectories.”

Through the introduction of Port of Newcastle’s renewable energy contract the Port has also been able to reduce emissions from tenants operating within its embedded networks, a total of 3570 tonnes of carbon dioxide scope-3 emissions to date

This recognition follows the Port of Newcastle securing an industry first Sustainability Linked Loan (SSL) in April which directly links the cost of its debt to achieving its science-based emission reduction targets.