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Managing our emissions

The scale of the climate challenge is great but the International Panel on Climate Change highlights that the world has the means to address it. Our divisions are looking for ways to improve energy efficiency, reduce emissions across their operations and supply chains and invest in low-emissions and renewable technologies as we transition to a low carbon economy.

We recognise our responsibility to all our stakeholders to play an active role in addressing climate change.

We emit greenhouse gases both directly and indirectly. Our direct (Scope 1) emissions come from our industrial businesses, including the use of natural gas and diesel, and fugitive emissions from coal mining. Our main source of indirect (Scope 2) emissions is electricity used by our operations. We also estimate our Scope 3 emissions, which are other indirect emissions that occur as a result of our operations (e.g., staff air travel), but are not controlled by us.

We are able to manage our emissions intensity (tonnes of emissions per one million dollars revenue) through technology improvements in our industrial processes and through energy efficiency initiatives in all our businesses.

Our emissions

This year, we emitted a total of 4,078 thousand tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) in scope one and two emissions, which was 4.2 per cent per cent higher than last year. This represents a 16 per cent improvement in emissions intensity over the past five years. This year, the increase in our emissions was driven predominantly by our Resources business which increased its emissions by 32 per cent. Production at Curragh mine was up 14 per cent on 2016 levels and this was associated with a increase in truck and excavator activity.  Our total energy use increased by 6.4 per cent compared to last year with an energy intensity for all energy consumed for 469 gigajoules per million dollars of revenue.

This year we have estimated scope three emissions of 823 thousand tonnes CO2e. This includes:

  • 29 thousand tonnes CO2e from air travel;
  • 213 thousand tonnes CO2e in emissions that escape from waste that is disposed to landfill;
  • 482 thousand tonnes CO2e in emissions from electricity; and
  • 99 thousand tonnes CO2e in emissions from LPG, petroleum, natural gas and diesel.

Click here for more detail on our greenhouse gas emissions reporting.

Our businesses are taking steps to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. During the year:

  • Coles invested in excess of $15 million in energy efficiency projects, equating to more than 1,000 installations. These projects included LED lighting retrofits, improved hot water controls, upgrades in electrical infrastructure and solar power installations. 
  • Bunnings installed 100 kilowatt solar photovoltaic systems in five stores in Queensland, three stores in Western Australia and one store in the Northern Territory. Each system is currently generating on average between 10 and 20 per cent of those stores' daily energy needs.
  • The Kmart Energy Centre commenced operations in January 2017, joining Target to provide a range of services including continuous monitoring of energy use and demand; energy event and demand response; benchmarking of sites to identify best practice and poor performance; tariff management and optimisation; and business case development to support further investment in energy efficiency initiatives.
  • Officeworks rolled out LED lighting to an additional 35 stores and installed building energy management systems in another nine stores. As a consequence of this work, 63 per cent of stores now have LED lighting. Based on the energy efficiency program, Officeworks energy consumption per store has reduced by more than 9.5 per cent in the past twelve months.
  • WIS installed nearly 1 megawatt of solar photovoltaic (enough to power 160 average Australia homes) continuing its focus on sustainable buildings.
  • WesCEF's nitrous oxide abatement technology installed in CSBP’s nitric acid plants continued to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  An average 89.8 per cent total nitrous oxide abatement was achieved during the year, which equates to a reduction of 1,221,681 tonnes of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent).


Wesfarmers does not set a Group-wide greenhouse gas emission target. All our businesses run autonomously and set targets appropriate to their operations. At a Wesfarmers level, we believe by analysing capital expenditure and corporate plans with an eye to current and future climate change risks we can manage the economic risk and opportunities of a carbon-constrained future and induce more consistently cost-effective abatement than alternative approaches such as targets for internal energy efficiency standards or renewable energy procurement.

Greenhouse gas emissions


tonnes CO2e: '000
2017   4078
2016   3915
2015   4012
2014   4047
2013   4241