NBN Co is taking action to address the inherent risks climate change poses to its operations, network continuity and service obligations. By embedding sustainability in all its activities, it aims to deliver on its purpose to lift the digital capability of Australia, while enabling long-term social, economic and environmental value for all stakeholders.
The company has committed to a target of 100 per cent renewable electricity purchases from December 2025. This commitment is underpinned by membership of the RE100 – a global renewable electricity initiative comprising 407 of the world’s largest businesses. NBN Co was the first Australian telecommunications company and first Australian Government Business Enterprise to join RE100.
Supporting this commitment, and as a significant consumer of electricity in Australia, nbn has entered into its first renewable Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). The company signed a 10-year PPA at a new solar farm in the Riverina area of New South Wales in July 2022.
When operational, which is expected to be in mid-2023, the 260ha site will generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 27,000 Australian homes. The nbn PPA equates to approximately 90GWh per annum – which is more than 62 per cent of the expected power generated by the solar farm.
This will take the company’s renewable electricity purchases in New South Wales to 100 per cent from mid-2023. nbn is also setting Scope one, Scope two and Scope three emissions targets. These targets have been submitted to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) and await validation.
They build on, and underpin, the company’s earlier Towards Zero Carbon Ambition program and three-year roadmap, which see it working towards:
- Reducing annual energy use by 25GWh by December 2025
- A target of purchasing 100 per cent renewable electricity from December 2025
- Using electric or hybrid vehicles where suitably available by 2030
Australian first for green bonds
The company established a Sustainability Bond Framework in February 2022 to enable the issuance of green, social and sustainability bonds. In April 2022, nbn generated proceeds of $800 million through the successful issuance of its first Green Bond in the domestic market.
In March 2023, it successfully raised $2.1 billion from its debut European Green Bonds issuance in debt capital markets. The EUR benchmark Green Bonds were priced on 6 March 2023, with $1.2 billion of six-year bonds and $947 million of ten-year bonds. The combined proceeds will be fully allocated to eligible green projects undertaken as part of the company’s commitment to energy efficiency in line with its Sustainability Bond Framework.
The transaction makes NBN Co the first Australian Government Business Enterprise to issue Green Bonds in Europe. nbn’s network investment plan is designed to significantly reduce the number of copper connections in the network, which is central to its plan to improve customer experience and reduce maintenance and operating costs.
Fibre is inherently more capable of delivering faster upload and download speeds and is generally more reliable than copper connections.
So, as it rolls out new fibre deeper into the network, not only is nbn delivering faster speed capabilities and greater energy-efficiency, it is also making the network more reliable and resilient.
nbn’s goal is to enable around 10 million premises, or up to 90 per cent of homes and businesses on the fixed line network, to access nbn’s highest residential speed tiers with wholesale download speeds of 500Mbps to close to 1Gbps by the end of 2025.
The raising follows the company’s commitment, as outlined in its 2023 Corporate Plan, to deliver greenhouse gas emissions reductions consistent with meeting or exceeding the Australian Government’s commitment to net zero emissions by 2050.
This sponsored editorial is brought to you by NBN Co. For further information, please visit www.nbnco.com.au