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Reporting carbon emissions

What were our greenhouse gas emissions this year?

Emissions type

Wesfarmers 2015

Change on last year

Scope 1 and 2 emissions (CO2e)

NGER Act: 3,928,342

Emissions from operations outside Australia: 71,663

Other: 11,579

Total: 4,011,584

One per cent decrease

Scope 3 emissions (CO2e)

Transport emissions: 13,000(approximately)

Air travel: 27,337

Waste: 154,701

Transmission and distribution of electricity: 474,622

LPG, natural gas and diesel: 103,110

Not directly comparable, as transport emissions are included this year

Excluding transport emissions, this is a seven per cent decrease

Equity proportion of joint venture businesses (CO2e)

275,140 

Four per cent increase

Emissions intensity (CO2e/$1 million revenue)

64.2

One per cent decrease

What are Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions?

Carbon emissions are generally reported as Scope 1, 2 or 3, depending on the level of control a company has over a particular emission source.  Different emission sources have different global warming potential. The unit used for emissions reporting is ‘tonnes CO2e’, which means emissions with the global warming potential equivalent to one tonne of carbon dioxide.

Scope 1 emissions are direct emissions from our operations. The main sources of scope 1 emissions for Wesfarmers are natural gas, refrigerants, diesel and fugitive emissions from coal mined. 

Scope 2 emissions are indirect emissions from the electricity used by our operations. For Wesfarmers, most of these emissions come from electricity used by Coles and Kmart.

Scope 3 emissions are other indirect emissions that occur as a result of our operations. The reporting of these emissions is less clearly defined as the boundaries are determined by the entity disclosing the emissions, and by what is practical and useful. For example, we report the emissions for waste which is collected by waste disposal contractors and disposed to landfill.

Wesfarmers reports Scope 3 emissions over which it has some influence and for which it can provide reasonably accurate estimates. Our Scope 3 emissions are calculated by applying National Greenhouse Accounts factors.

The Scope 3 emissions that Wesfarmers reports include:

  • some emissions from major supply chain transport providers (see below);

  • emissions from air travel by Wesfarmers Group employees;

  • emissions from the transmission and distribution of the electricity, natural gas and fuel we use (or the emissions that occur as a result of transferring the electricity and natural gas from its source to our operations); and

  • emissions that escape from waste that is disposed to landfill.

Emissions from the burning of the coal produced by our Curragh coal mine are another type of scope 3 emissions which may be significant. An estimate of these emissions is not included as it is not a source of scope 3 emissions over which we are able to exercise influence.

Which scope 3 transport emissions are we reporting?

Many of our businesses have complex supply chains. Transport of products along these supply chains creates emissions.  Transport from distribution centres to stores is largely undertaken by contracted transport providers.  We estimate our scope 3 transport emissions for this type of transport to be 13,000 tonnes CO2e this year, based on the emissions of our major transport providers transporting goods from distribution centres to stores for Coles, Kmart, Target and Bunnings and from mine to port for Wesfarmers Resources.

What is NGER Act Reporting?

Under the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act 2007 (NGER Act), companies that exceed a threshold are required to report particular Scope 1 and 2 emissions that are emitted by entities under their operational control. It makes more sense to compare these between companies because the types of emissions that must be reported are consistent.

In this report, Wesfarmers chooses to report some additional Scope 1 and 2 emissions that are not required to be reported under the NGER Act, to give a more complete picture of our emissions profile. These include certain refrigerant gases, emissions from businesses that are owned but not controlled by Wesfarmers (such as our Port Kembla air separation unit) and international facilities.

Our Chemicals, Energy and Fertilisers division and our Resources division both include liable entities under the Clean Energy Act and its Carbon Pricing Mechanism, and have been compliant with their obligations under that legislation. Both entities have met their commitments for the surrender of carbon units. Further information about Wesfarmers’ NGER Act reporting can be found here.

Why does Wesfarmers report emissions intensity?

Where the operations of an entity are getting bigger or smaller, the absolute change in the emissions may be less relevant than the emissions intensity, or in other words, how much carbon is emitted per unit of production. Given the diversity of our businesses, we use emissions per dollar revenue as our common emissions intensity metric across the Group.

This year, our emissions intensity decreased.

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GRI Reference: G4-DMA (Effluents and Waste), G4-21, G4- EN17, G4-EN30, G4-DMA (Transport)