CEFC targets emissions from power infrastructure

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) has joined forces with IFM Investors to reduce carbon emissions at some of the nation’s leading infrastructure assets across ports, airports and electricity infrastructure.

In its first equity commitment to Australia’s diversified infrastructure sector, the CEFC is investing $150 million in the IFM Investors’ managed IFM Australian Infrastructure Fund, which will target emissions reduction and energy efficiency initiatives across assets including Ausgrid, Brisbane Airport, Melbourne Airport, Sydney’s Port Botany and the Port of Brisbane.

IFM Investors’ agreement with the CEFC builds on its track record of working with asset management teams to deliver sustainable ESG outcomes that benefit both the communities they serve and superannuation member returns.

“Infrastructure assets are central to our economic and social well-being,” CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth said.

“They are usually large, expensive and built for the long term. It is absolutely critical the assets of today contribute to the overall emissions reduction task we are facing.

“With this investment the CEFC will work with IFM Investors in targeting comprehensive and sustained improvements to the carbon footprint of some of our most important infrastructure assets.

“We will also work with IFM Investors to enhance benchmarks and transparency around infrastructure emissions, so that we can deliver a step change in the emissions profile of our national infrastructure.”

According to Australia’s National Greenhouse Gas Inventory, infrastructure-related emissions account for more than half Australia’s total greenhouse gas emissions, mainly from the electricity sector (35 per cent) and the transport sector (18 per cent).

The CEFC estimates just a five per cent improvement across the assets in the portfolio would abate almost 69,000 tonnes of CO2-e annually.

This is equivalent to removing 14,775 cars from the road each year, or providing electricity to about 7450 homes a year.

“IFM Investors has a track record of actively working with its assets to identify and introduce value add initiatives,” CEFC infrastructure lead Julia Hinwood said.

“We’re looking forward to drawing on our clean energy finance experience to help IFM drive carbon emissions reductions across its assets through an innovative approach to planning, construction and operations.

“This is about investing in global best practice infrastructure to support its important economic potential while proactively addressing the emissions challenge.”

Ms Hinwood said initiatives might include installing on-site solar PV and battery storage solutions and converting to electric vehicles.

They are also likely to involve using smart management systems that monitor asset performance and assist with reducing energy consumption and optimising logistics and supply chains.