When it comes to our approach to the environment, AGL's Sustainability Report covers our approach to and contains our record of water management, air quality, waste management, noise, biodiversity and cultural heritage.
Our Greenhouse Gas Policy outlines AGL's approach to climate change and presents a pathway for the gradual decarbonisation of our generation portfolio by 2050.
We seek to protect the environment and minimise our environmental footprint in the areas we operate.
How we protect the environment
We are committed to achieving excellence in environmental management and performance. We work to reduce the risk to the environment in everything that we do.
The AGL Environment Policy outlines how we protect the environment. It states that we will:
- adhere to high standards to protect the environment where we do business
- strengthen our business by integrating environmental considerations into all business activities
- analyse and improve the way we do business to reduce environmental risks and impacts
- use resources and energy efficiently, minimising emissions and waste.
Our health, safety and environment management system is based on the requirements in Australian Standard AS/NZS ISO 14001 (2014) Environmental Management Systems. It helps us to proactively manage environmental risks and compliance requirements, define environmental responsibilities, and measure and benchmark our environmental performance.
Target Zero is our strategic framework for providing a safe workplace and protecting the environment. It's supported by four pillars – Culture, Systems, Capability, Risk – that guide us as we strive for zero harm to people and the environment.
As Australia’s largest greenhouse gas emitting business, we have a key role to play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, we need to provide secure and affordable energy for Australian households and businesses.
To help us realise these dual goals, we have developed a comprehensive Greenhouse Gas Policy.
The policy outlines our approach to climate change and presents a pathway for the gradual decarbonisation of our generation portfolio by 2050. We will:
- continue to provide the market with safe, reliable, affordable and sustainable energy options
- not build, finance or acquire new conventional coal-fired power stations in Australia (i.e. without carbon capture and storage)
- not extend the operating life of any of our existing coal fired power stations
- close, by 2050, all existing coal-fired power stations in our portfolio
- improve the greenhouse gas efficiency of our operations, and those over which we have influence
- continue to invest in new renewable and near-zero emission technologies
- make available innovative and cost-effective solutions for our customers, such as distributed renewable generation, battery storage and demand management solutions
- incorporate a forecast of future carbon pricing into all generation capital expenditure decisions
- continue to be an advocate for effective long-term government policy to reduce Australia’s emissions in a manner that is consistent with the long-term interests of consumers and investors.
Pathway to a modern, decarbonised generation sector
We are committed to playing a leading role in developing a pathway to a modern, decarbonised generation sector; and developing and investing in new renewable and near-zero emission technologies. Our most recent achievements are listed below.
In 2015, we launched AGL's Greenhouse Gas Policy; and we signed a public statement supporting the pursuit of the Paris Agreement alongside other large Australian corporations including BHP Billiton, GE, Mirvac, Santos, Unilever, Wesfarmers and Westpac.
We also adopted three core 'We Mean Business' commitments:
- responsible corporate engagement on climate policy
- reporting climate change information in mainstream corporate reports
- aligning with the UN Global Compact’s Business Leadership Criteria on Carbon Pricing.
In 2016, we followed up on our commitments of the previous year through these specific actions:
- launch of Powering Australia Renewables Fund (PARF) – a $2-3 billion fund to invest in ~1,000 MW of large scale renewable projects, providing an opportunity for investors to finance a portfolio of renewable assets to diversify risk and reduce costs
- launch of the world’s largest Virtual Power Plant – installing 1,000 residential batteries into South Australian solar households and connecting through the Sunverge IT platform to operate as a 5 MW solar peaking plant feeding energy and services into the grid
- release of Carbon Constrained Future – an economic analysis of AGL operations within a carbon constrained future. The report looks at the impact on AGL operations and the potential impact various policies can have on AGL’s economic value.
In 2017 AGL updated its brand, vision and strategy through which our role in the decarbonisation of our energy portfolio is clear, absolute and now ingrained into the company value proposition.
Read more about what we're doing in this space.
Other environmental policies and data
To help protect biodiversity, we have strict criteria that guide the types of biomass projects we invest in.
In accordance with our requirements, we make all of our monitoring data publicly available.