Partnership to cut carbon emissions in infrastructure assets

Thursday, 12 April, 2018

Partnership to cut carbon emissions in infrastructure assets

The IFM Australian Infrastructure Fund, said to be Australia’s largest infrastructure fund, is working with the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) to reduce carbon emissions at some of the nation’s leading infrastructure assets across ports, airports and electricity infrastructure.

IFM Investors, owned by 27 of Australia’s industry superannuation funds, invests on behalf of six million Australian workers and approximately 15 million pension fund members globally. The CEFC is now investing $150 million in IFM Investors’ managed IFM Australian Infrastructure Fund, which will target emissions reduction and energy efficiency initiatives across assets including Ausgrid, Brisbane Airport, Melbourne Airport, Port Botany and the Port of Brisbane.

“With this investment the CEFC will work with IFM Investors in targeting comprehensive and sustained improvements to the carbon footprint of some of our most important infrastructure assets,” said CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth. “We will also work with IFM Investors to enhance benchmarks and transparency around infrastructure emissions, so that we can deliver a step change in the emissions profile of our national infrastructure.”

According to Australia’s National Greenhouse Gas Inventory, infrastructure-related emissions account for more than half Australia’s total greenhouse gas emissions, mainly from the electricity sector (35%) and the transport sector (18%). The CEFC estimates that just a 5% improvement across the assets in the portfolio would abate almost 69,000 tonnes of CO2e annually — equivalent to removing 14,775 cars from the road each year.

“IFM Investors has a track record of actively working with its assets to identify and introduce value-add initiatives,” said CEFC infrastructure lead Julia Hinwood. “We’re looking forward to drawing on our clean energy finance experience to help IFM drive carbon emissions reductions across its assets through an innovative approach to planning, construction and operations.”

Hinwood said initiatives may include installing on-site solar PV and battery storage solutions and converting to electric vehicles. They are also likely to involve using smart management systems which monitor asset performance and assist with reducing energy consumption and optimising logistics and supply chains.

The CEFC partnership builds on IFM Investors’ track record of working with asset management teams to deliver sustainable ESG outcomes that benefit both the communities they serve and superannuation member returns. The company’s global head of infrastructure, Kyle Mangini, said the CEFC’s support will help “accelerate our program of measuring, reporting and decreasing emissions from Australian infrastructure assets”.

“The fact that this is the first commitment by the CEFC to an infrastructure fund reflects our alignment in a cleaner future,” he said. “Today, I invite other investors in infrastructure to follow our lead and make a difference.”

Image credit: © F. Young

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