23 September 2022
Whitehaven Coal’s Sustainability Report 2022
Our Sustainability Report 2022 outlines how we deliver value to customers, our workforce, investors, joint venture partners, communities and other stakeholders, underpinned by our STRIVE values.
We continue to deliver value in a range of areas:
- We operate responsibly – our workplaces are becoming more diverse, and our enhancements to safety and environmental management systems are delivering welcome improvements.
- We support regional growth – our direct financial benefits to regional communities are significant, with $510 million in local wages and supplier payments into North West NSW in FY22 alone. We will also contribute ~$1 billion in taxes and royalties for FY22.
- We produce the highest-quality seaborne coal in the world, helping to lower emissions in our customer countries – and we are progressing operational emissions reduction measures.
The fundamentals of our business are strong, enabling us to deliver on our purpose to support and sustain regional communities by exporting high-quality coal.
This year’s report further progresses our TCFD reporting and commences our alignment with the SASB framework. We also respond to stakeholder interest in what a decarbonisation pathway may entail for our business, including assessing the scale of the emissions abatement challenge to achieve net zero by 2050, and possible scope 1 abatement opportunities.
Sustainability Highlights 2022
Managing Director and CEO’s message
I am pleased to present Whitehaven Coal’s Sustainability Report 2022, outlining how we deliver value to customers, our workforce, investors, joint venture partners, communities and other stakeholders, underpinned at all times by our STRIVE values.
As a company, we do not view our performance through the prism of operational and financial outcomes alone, although, in that context, it has been an incredibly strong 12 months. We remain focused on delivering results through the entire value chain and I am very pleased to be able to share our progress with you in this format once again.
This year, as we continue to implement our Sustainability Roadmap, we have begun to align our reporting with the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board framework. We have also reviewed our Tier 1 material risks, supported by an updated risk management framework, and undertaken significant work in relation to better understanding the challenges and opportunities that arise for the energy transition. These developments are detailed in the following pages, which are also more interactive and user-friendly than previous years.
Despite economy-wide labour shortages, our workplaces are becoming more diverse: 11.8% of our workforce identifies as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, and 15.3% of our employees are female. We acknowledge there is more work to be done when it comes to gender diversity, and this year we have set a target to reach 20% of employees and 20% of company leadership being women by FY26. I invite you to find out more about our initiatives to reach these goals in the chapter on talent and diversity.
Our enhancements to our safety and environmental management systems are delivering real and welcome improvements. Our total recordable injury rate of 5.4 is a 22% improvement over the past five years, and the five environmental enforcement actions in FY22 compare favourably to the five-year average of 11 actions annually. Any instance of non-compliance of course is regrettable and as a company we continue to invest heavily in people, systems and processes to ensure our trend of improved performance continues.
In the face of ongoing economic disruption, we delivered significant direct financial benefits to regional communities, with $510 million in wages and supplier payments into North West NSW. In addition, we will contribute around $1 billion in taxes and royalties to governments for FY22 – highlighting the value of not only our business, but our industry, to the national economy.
These contributions are only possible because the fundamentals of our business are strong, enabling us to deliver on our purpose to support and sustain regional communities by exporting high-quality coal from Australia, to the world.
Our story is as compelling as ever in a world where energy security is a front of mind consideration for governments and populations everywhere. We are a proudly Australian, locally-based company playing a key role in underpinning energy security and economic growth in our customer countries. Our high-CV, low-ash, low-sulphur thermal coal also contributes to our customers’ energy security and decarbonisation objectives, and our growth plans centre around continuing to support our customers in the Asian region as well as our communities at home.
Recent global events have underscored the need for secure, reliable and affordable forms of energy through what will be a multi-decade energy transition and I encourage you to read more about the sustainability of our business model and markets in this context.
Of course, climate change is a material business risk and, after having been the very first coal company in the world to report against the recommendations of the TCFD, we have reviewed the resilience of our business in decarbonising scenarios once again.
We must take sensible steps where we can to address the challenges posed by climate change. At an operational level, we have progressed a range of emissions reduction measures, including fully offsetting our Scope 2 mine-site emissions through new energy supply contracts. We are also responding to stakeholder interest in what a decarbonisation pathway may entail for our business, including assessing the scale of the emissions abatement challenge to achieve net zero by 2050, and possible scope 1 abatement opportunities. You can read more about our work in this space here.
In FY22 the Australian Government stepped up its greenhouse gas emissions reduction ambitions, significantly increasing our national ambition in Australia’s Nationally Determined Contribution under the Paris Agreement, including legislating a commitment to net zero carbon emissions by 2050. As always, we will ensure our business practices align with legislation while also advocating for sensible policy that reflects the central role of coal to development, the need to maintain international competitiveness of Australia’s major export industries, and the important role our high-CV, high quality coal plays in fuelling new ultrasupercritical power stations, which are allowing our customer countries to meet their decarbonisation goals.
I trust you will find this latest iteration of our sustainability performance and our perspectives on a variety of energy-related issues of interest and, as always, I invite you to share your feedback at email@example.com
Managing Director and CEO