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Commonwealth Bank one step closer to net zero emissions

Commonwealth Bank one step closer to net zero emissions

Image source: Mapoon ranger verifier Sarah Barkley exploring the co-benefits of carbon farming with Kowanyama elder, John Clarke during the Kowanyama carbon project verification in 2019.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia has taken another step forward on its journey to carbon neutrality, partnering with the Aboriginal Carbon Foundation.

To help offset all of its non-electricity emissions, including making allowances for employees who are working remotely, Commonwealth Bank has purchased carbon credits from the Aboriginal Carbon Foundation (AbCF) – the only Indigenous company in Australia to provide third-party verified Indigenous carbon credits.

AbCF is a not-for-profit organisation that enables environmental, social and cultural wealth for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, through the ethical trade of Australian carbon credit units (ACCU).

The Bank’s partnership with AbCF will directly support the Kowanyama Carbon Project in Queensland, where the cultural practice of mosaic fire practice takes place early in the dry season – when the weather is cooler and the fuel load smaller – so that less country is burned and greenhouse gas emissions are reduced.

AbCF Chief Executive Officer, Rowan Foley, said the company’s partnership with Commonwealth Bank will help support the employment of local Indigenous rangers as well as the continuation of cultural fire management practice. This practice combines western science with indigenous science and new technology such as the North Australian Fire Index, resulting in efficient burning.

“We’re pleased to be able to provide Commonwealth Bank with ACCU with verified co-benefits. These carbon credits help provide local ranger jobs for the Traditional Owners, support the Kowanyama community, and assist in addressing climate change globally,” Mr Foley said.

Commonwealth Bank’s Executive General Manager Group Property and Security, Jennifer Saiz, said: “CBA is proud to assist Indigenous peoples with maintaining, controlling, protecting and developing their traditional knowledge which extends to the traditional burning practices and ecological knowledge that Indigenous carbon projects play a role in preserving.”

Ms Saiz said the contract with AbCF represents a significant contribution toward Commonwealth Bank’s Reconciliation Action Plan and further reinforces the Bank’s commitment to tackling climate change in line with the Paris Agreement, supporting the responsible transition to net zero emissions by 2050.

 “Since 2009, Commonwealth Bank has reduced its overall emissions by more than 60%, and this is an important step in becoming carbon neutral for our Australian operations. Despite this, we know there is still more work to be done and we will continue to proactively identify opportunities that help secure the wellbeing of Australians for generations to come,” she said.