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Managing our environmental footprint

  • Our Group Environment Policy creates a framework that helps us understand and manage the way our business directly and indirectly impacts the environment
  • It also helps identify environmental risks and opportunities in our business practices

  • CommBank’s comprehensive environmental management system (EMS) is based on the international standard ISO 14001
  • The EMS helps to identify, prioritise and address the environmental impacts of our business and improve the environmental performance of our Australian property and fleet activities
  • The EMS guides:
    • How we allocate resources
    • Our environmental responsibilities
    • How we assess our environmental practices, procedures and processes
    • A process of continual improvement

  • In 2009, we set a target to reduce the carbon emissions from our Australian operations by 20 per cent of the 2008-09 levels by June 2013
  • This represents 34,550 tonnes of carbon
  • By January 2013 we had achieved our goal, and by June 2013 we had surpassed our target by an additional 10,658 t CO2-e
  • We achieved this through a range of energy-efficiency initiatives in our branches, offices and fleet vehicles, including:
    • Installing more efficient lighting and air conditioning throughout our retail and commercial properties
    • Switching from six-cylinder to four-cylinder fleet vehicles
    • Moving our offices from a larger number of inefficient buildings into a smaller number of more environmentally efficient premises
  • Carbon emissions data is available in our Sustainability Report

  • We have been actively measuring and voluntarily disclosing our energy use and greenhouse emissions since 2001
  • We are subject to the Federal Government’s Energy Efficiency Opportunity (EEO) Act, which helps us identify cost-effective energy savings initiatives. The Government has since decided to close the EEO Program, with effect from 29 June 2014
  • We are part of the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (NGER) Scheme and report annually to comply with the legislation
  • Since 2008 we have voluntarily reported our carbon emissions to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), an independent not-for-profit organisation that seeks climate-related information from the world’s largest companies on behalf of institutional investors
  • The Commonwealth Property Office Fund and Direct Property Investment Fund are managed under Colonial First State Global Asset Management, and report carbon emissions separately under the Carbon Disclosure Project

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  • CommBank has been a senior investor in clean/renewable energy projects since 2004, with clients in sectors including wind, solar, landfill and waste gas, biomass and hydroelectric
  • Some of the companies and renewable energy projects we have recently been working with include:
    • Collgar Wind Farm – provides around half of the wind generation capacity in the South West Interconnected System (SWIS) of WA
    • Pacific Hydro – a portfolio of brownfield and greenfield development sites of wind and hydro assets in Australia, Brazil and Chile
    • Uterne solar farm – first Australian bank to successfully finance a utility scale solar PV power plant, producing approximately 2300 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity per year
  • The Group is a signatory to the Equator Principles; a voluntary set of guidelines reflecting the latest developments in environmental and social risk management and compliance. By adopting the Equator Principles III, we build on our commitment to responsible lending and formalise reporting of our environmental and social risk practices.

  • We are using sustainable green-leasing practices and partner with our lessor organisations to improve our environmental standards in water, waste, energy and fit-out materials
  • We’re targeting a minimum of 5 Star Green Star and 5 Star National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) standards for new commercial buildings and major refurbishments 
  • We are targeting a minimum 5 Star NABERS rating for all commercial leases we renew
  • To ensure our commercial office space ratings keep improving, relevant staff members have gained NABERS assessor accreditation
  • Between 2004 and 2012 we moved over 19,000 employees from 19 buildings across Sydney into three purpose-built campuses
  • The final building, Commonwealth Bank Place (CBP), housing more than 6,000 of our people, is the Group’s first 6 Star Green Star commercial office space
  • CBP uses an activity-based working (ABW) design, as we recognise that our people work more effectively when they have flexibility
  • With ABW, our people can choose different types of work settings, depending on what they need to do during the day, using mobile technology, unassigned desks and collaborative working spaces
  • ABW has been so successful that we’re now using the model for two new major CommBank developments in Perth and Auckland
  • CommBank also participates in Earth Hour each year, turning off non-essential lighting in our offices and branches across the country

Related information

Read about our sustainability initiatives, focus areas and performance in the 2013-2014 financial year. 

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We have been measuring and voluntarily reporting our energy use and greenhouse emissions since 2001.

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Highlighting the measures we are taking to ensure sustainability is part of everything we do.

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A responsible approach to the way we provide financial products and services is essential for delivering excellent service to our 14 million customers.

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