Commonwealth Bank response to Profundo/Greenpeace report

13 October 2010

Commonwealth Bank remains committed to sustainability and has been investing in the renewable energy sector since 2004. We understand that participating in this industry is a long term commitment that requires a significant investment in resources, knowledge and skills.

In 2010 alone, we invested approximately $100 million in renewable energy projects.

The Bank is currently a senior investor in a significant portfolio of renewable and clean energy projects generating more than 12,000 Megawatts (MW) across Australia and New Zealand including wind farms, biomass, landfill gas and waste mine gas power generation.

In Australia, our total investment in clean and renewable energy represents approximately 55 percent of the total exposure to power generation companies (measured by installed MW capacity).  Furthermore, we have the lowest debt exposure to investments in single asset Australian coal fired generation of all the major Australian banks.

In 2009 we set a real target of reducing our carbon emissions by 20 percent from 2008-09 levels and are on track to reach our goal by mid 2013.

Commonwealth Bank is concerned by the apparent inaccuracy of the figures outlined in the Profundo report commissioned by Greenpeace.

While we invested $100 million in renewable energy this year alone, the Profundo report estimates a total five-year investment of just $77 million.

Figures in the report include several refinancing transactions. This means that some financing transactions are effectively double and triple counted.

We are concerned about the accuracy of the report’s classifications of Bank financing to the New South Wales and Queensland Governments as ‘coal’ related. The Bank does not currently have any direct investments in the construction of any new coal fired power stations. In addition, we are concerned that the report includes deals from 2003, despite the report stating it only covers the previous 5 years.

We actively look to support all clients to meet changes in the commercial, social and environmental landscape in a variety of sectors, including energy.

For further information on Commonwealth Bank’s commitment to sustainability please visit the sustainability section of our website.