Managing our GHG emissions
Scope 1 and 2 emissions
- The boundary and methodologies used for Scope 3 emissions in the 2020 Sustainability Report are not comparable to those used within the 2021 Sustainability Report. Therefore, Downer has restated the figures presented in FY20. See Scope 3 emissions section for a breakdown.
Overall Scope 1 and 2 emissions decreased by 14 per cent.
Scope 1 emissions decreased by 13 per cent, which was largely due to a decrease in natural gas usage as a result of the divestment of the Laundries business.
Road Services emissions decreased due to a lower portion of emissions arising from subcontractors.
Scope 2 emissions dropped by 20 per cent. Similar to Scope 1 emissions, this was largely as a result of the divestment of the Laundries business.
Rollingstock Services’ electricity usage fell seven per cent due to a continued focus on efficiencies and the utilisation of onsite solar.
Downer’s other divestments did not have a material impact on Scope 1 and 2 emissions. This is because a large majority of facilities (with the exception of some Downer Blasting Services sites) were not within Downer’s operational control boundary.
Downer has retained ownership of the Open Cut East business throughout FY21, including the Commodore Mine and Meandu Mine (reported here). The Commodore Mine represents approximately 39,000 tCO2-e and Meandu Mine approximately 97,000 tCO2-e (a total of approximately 27 per cent of total Scope 1 and 2 emissions), based on FY21 figures. At the time of writing, Downer was continuing to explore opportunities to divest the Open Cut East business. If Downer is successful in the sale of Open Cut East, there will be a commensurate impact on Downer’s Scope 1 and 2 emissions in the FY22 reporting period.
Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions (tCO2-e)
Scope 1 and 2 emissions – adjusted for divestments
Percentage breakdown of Scope 1 and 2 emissions by source
from coal mining
Fugitive emissions from
coal mining 1%
Refrigerants and steam
Breakdown of Scope 1 and 2 emissions by Business Unit
Group and Services
Defence and Mineral Technologies
Downer’s contribution to renewable energy
Renewable energy consumed
Renewable projects delivered
Capacity of renewable power installed
In February 2020, Downer announced we would withdraw from the construction of large-scale solar-to-grid projects, as there are too many inherent risks due to large power loss factors, grid stability problems, connection risks, and equipment performance issues.
Downer decreased renewable energy consumption from 5,706GJ in FY20 to 5,635GJ in FY21 in its own operations, primarily due to the removal of Laundries from Downer’s emissions portfolio.
- The disclosure of how many homes powered by solar and wind projects Downer has delivered has been calculated by dividing the total electricity generated for FY21 by the average household electricity use in Australia. Electricity generation figures have been obtained from AEMO’s ‘Actual Generation and Load’ reporting. Average household electricity consumption has been sourced from the Australian Energy Regulator’s Annual Report on Compliance and Performance of the Retail Energy Market 2017-18. Avoided emissions has been calculated using the total electricity generated figures sourced from AEMO for each generation asset, multiplied by emissions factor for the National Electricity Market (NEM), sourced from Table 6 of the National Greenhouse Account (NGA) Factors 2020.
Scope 3 emissions
In FY21, Downer performed a full assessment of its Scope 3 emissions portfolio in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol’s Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Standard.
Overall, it has been determined that emissions from purchased goods and services are Downer’s most material emissions source. Other significant sources include lifecycle emissions from asphalt production, downstream emissions from the transport of goods produced, and supplier emissions.
The two categories deemed to be potentially applicable are Category 9 (Downstream transport and distribution) and Category 11 (Use of sold products).
Downer has not recorded any emissions against Category 9. For both significant mines within Downer’s operational portfolio (Commodore and Meandu), the ultimate sole customer is a power station which is directly adjacent to the mine site boundary. Therefore, any downstream emissions are likely already accounted for within Scope 1 and 2 emissions, and any residual emissions in transporting coal over the site boundary are likely to be immaterial.
Further, Downer has not accounted for any emissions in Category 11, as Downer is not involved in the commercial transaction for the sale of the coal. The rights and rewards for the extracted coal lie with our customers, Stanwell Corporation (Meandu) and Intergen (Commodore). Therefore, any Scope 3 emissions should be recorded by these organisations.
Breakdown of Scope 3 emissions