PORT of Newcastle has released its annual report that measures its progress towards achieving its sustainability targets. 

Port of Newcastle’s CEO Craig Carmody said the 2020 Sustainability Report examined the port’s efforts to embed the principles of sustainability across its operations.  

“In a year that was defined by the COVID-19 pandemic, Port of Newcastle continued to pursue a diverse range of initiatives to create sustainable social, environmental and economic benefits for the Hunter and NSW,” Mr Carmody said. 

“I am especially proud to see the Port’s new fleet of electric vehicles on the road and the establishment of our first Indigenous STEM Scholarship in partnership with the University of Newcastle. 

“These are just some of the initiatives that we are progressing today to create a safe, sustainable, and environmentally and socially responsible port of the future.”   

The release of the 2020 Sustainability Report follows the April announcement of a loan for Port of Newcastle that aligns financing with long-term environmentally and socially responsible outcomes. 

Sustainability points

While Newcastle works to make its operations greener, it is still one of the world’s biggest coal exporting ports. In 2020, the port exported 158 million tonnes of coal. Of the 2207 vessel visits that year, 1754, or almost 80% of the total, were coal ships. 

However, according to the sustainability report, operations at the port are on track to be 100% powered by renewables this year. More than 90% of the port’s electricity in 2020 was from renewable sources. 

Additionally, 70% of the port’s vehicle fleet had been switched to electric. 

The port also reported that 43% of its new recruits were female in 2020, while its total workforce is 29% female. 

And the Port of Newcastle launched a $30,000 partnership with University of Newcastle. Applications for the Indigenous Students in STEM Scholarship opened in September 2020 and will be awarded in 2021. 

Also, through its 2020 sponsorship program, PON provided support to 12 local organisations.  

Assisting City of Newcastle and the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, Port of Newcastle placed 12.15 tonnes of clean sand, dredged from the channel, offshore Stockton Beach to help with the response to coastal erosion. 

The port also partnered with local Aboriginal-owned cultural education provider Speaking in Colour to roll out cultural awareness training for all our employees to better understand the unique context and experiences of local Aboriginal communities and staff members who identify as Aboriginal.  

The port’s full sustainability report can be read on its website