Environmental Stewardship - CommBank Sustainability Report 2014

Sustainability Reporting 2014

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Environmental Stewardship

We are proactive in measuring and reducing our own environmental footprint and fostering renewable energy.


Treading a little more lightly

Over the last 12 months we've reduced our combined domestic Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions by 12,385 tCo2-e. This reduction has been achieved through:

  • Commercial office space consolidations.
  • Lighting upgrades to both retail and commercial buildings.
  • Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) and controls upgrades to retail sites.
  • Efficiency measures within our tool-of-trade fleet.

During the reporting period, we updated our methodology for reporting our carbon emission in order to align with changes made to the guidance provided by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol.

The Group's use of hire cars, business use of private vehicles and dedicated bus service are now reported as Scope 3 emissions rather than Scope 1. To ensure accuracy and transparency, we have made this adjustment in our reporting back to 2008-2009.

See our full disclosure of carbon emissions.

Greenhouse gas emissions graph
Treading a little more lightly image

Our new reduction targets

Following the achievement of our 20% carbon reduction target last year, we've set new targets for the year ending 30 June 2015 covering both the Commonwealth Bank and Bankwest businesses. Proposed reductions will be achieved by the continued rollout of lighting, HVAC and other initiatives.

All targets operate from a 1 July 2009 baseline.

Carbon reduction targets %
Commonwealth Bank - Scope 1 25%
Commonwealth Bank - Scope 2 35%
Bankwest - Scope 1 45%
Bankwest - Scope 2 30%

Managing our global footprint

After collecting and validating data for a number of years, we're reporting the Group's offshore business emissions for the Asia Pacific region for the first time in 2014.

New Zealand operations carbon emissions

Of the Group's overall greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, our two NZ businesses - Auckland Savings Bank (ASB) and Sovereign - accounted for:

  • 4% of Scope 1 emissions.
  • 3% of Scope 2 emissions.
Managing our global footprint image
Asian operations carbon emissions

Scope 2 carbon emissions relate to electricity use in the Group's commercial offices throughout Asia, the 90 Commonwealth Bank branches in Indonesia, and our ATMs throughout the region. Source of emissions factors: GHG Protocol (2011).

Asian emissions make up 6% of the Group's overall Scope 2 emissions.

Scope 2 emissions (tCO2-e) 2013 2014
China 512 522
India 125 123
Singapore 237 243
Japan 50 47
Vietnam 117 109
Indonesia 5,981 6,174
Total emissions 7,022 7,218

CDP Recognition

The CDP is one of the world's few global systems for companies to disclose and share vital environmental information.

The CDP has once again acknowledged Commonwealth Bank's actions to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate the risks of climate change.

This has been recognised with the Group achieving a position in CDP's Global 500 and ASX 200 Climate Performance Leadership Indices (CPLI). These indices analyse climate change disclosures as well as highlight companies that demonstrate strategies committed to lessening their environmental impact.

Commonwealth Bank is now the highest ranking Australian bank listed on CDP's global index and achieved an overall disclosure score of 94/100.

CDP Recognition image

Developing clean and renewable energy

We have a key role to play in supporting the current energy needs of Australia, with approximately 75% of Australia's energy needs currently being met through conventional energy generation; as well as in supporting the transition to a low carbon economy by increasing our clean and renewable energy exposure.

Over the last five years our exposure to the renewable energy sector has increased significantly, and at a much faster rate than our exposure to coal-based energy.

This has included increasing our direct financing of renewable energy facilities. For example, in late 2013, we leveraged our energy financing, carbon solutions and risk management capabilities to expand our renewable financing capability by providing project funding to the Pacific Hydro's wind farm assets. This includes the Portland Wind Energy Project, a 47MW wind farm in south-western Victoria. Read the Pacific Hydro case study here.

We remain committed to the continued development of the renewable energy and carbon markets, and to considering environmental, social and governance risks in our lending decisions.


Since 2004 the Group has consistently invested in the renewable energy sector, both locally and globally. We're also a significant lender to a wide range of projects including wind farms, solar, landfill and waste gas, biomass and hydro.

Commbank sustainability and community case studies

Case Study:

More wind power with Pacific Hydro

Read moreCase study: Pacific Hydro wind farm