AGL has long recognised climate change as an issue that is likely to materially influence our operations by driving a fundamental change in the way Australians produce and consume energy. As such, in 2015 we released our Greenhouse Gas Policy (PDF) a public commitment and acknowledgement of our role in the transition to a low-emissions economy, and in 2016 a special report examining potential operational scenarios in a Carbon Constrained Future (PDF).

Today, concerns around social and economic inclusion in Australia are growing. At AGL, we recognise these emerging trends as of comparable importance with climate change in terms of their potential impacts both on the health of Australian society and the Australian economy, as well as on the sustainability of AGL’s own operations.

Our special report, ‘Social and economic inclusion: An important issue for an essential service provider (PDF)’, explores some of the macro trends shaping social and economic inclusion in Australia, including workforce transitions and increasing wealth and income inequality. It then considers the ways in which these trends impact on access to affordable energy supplies and participation in the technology-driven energy market transformation.

We do not contend that solving these emerging problems is solely the responsibility of government. But rather that business and civil society must work together with government to ensure that evidence based policy continues to deliver better outcomes for all citizens and contribute to the achievement of inclusive economic growth.

Over the next year, we intend to develop a Social and Economic Inclusion Policy. Much like our Greenhouse Gas Policy it will outline both: the commitments we intend to make over the long-term to improve our business operations on behalf of our customers; and the key components of our approach to public policy advocacy. It will build on the existing Affordability Initiative and A Fairer Way commitments we have already made.

Social and economic inclusion is fundamental to healthy, productive societies, and for ensuring that all citizens have access to affordable essential services. We are committed to working with all our stakeholders to improve social and economic inclusion within Australian society.