Nick Gibbs
(Australian Associated Press)


Australia’s NBN Co has announced a “Towards-Zero Carbon Ambition”, with the company outlining a plan to use electricity exclusively from renewable sources by the end of 2025.

As well as purchasing 100 per cent renewable electricity from December 2025, an initial three-year roadmap works toward switching to electric or hybrid cars were possible by 2030, and reducing annual energy use by 25 gigawatt hours by the end of 2025.

Total electricity generation in Australia was estimated to be 265,232 GWh in 2020, according to government numbers.

More than 8.3 million premises are connected to the NBN network, and the company says it will seek a “more efficient use of energy as data demand and the number of connected premises continues to grow”.

“Beyond the direct impact of becoming an environmentally sustainable business, what’s equally exciting is the power of the network to help enable digitisation, and the huge benefits that unlocks for the nation in terms of emissions reductions, as well as socio-economic benefits,” NBN Co chief executive Stephen Rue says.

The company has already entered into a renewable power purchasing agreement intended to deliver almost 20 per cent renewable energy to the network by financial year 2023.

It plans to reach the 100 per cent target through further power purchase agreements and contracts for renewables.

The announcement comes as NBN Co becomes the first Australian teleco and government business enterprise to join RE100, a global initiative joining “the world’s most influential businesses committed to 100 per cent renewable power”.

“It joins 110 other major companies in Australia that have joined RE100 and made the commitment to switch to 100 per cent renewable electricity,” RE100 Australian co-ordinator Jon Dee said.

Between them, Australian members of RE100 use over 5.5 terawatt hours of electricity a year, enough to power 800,000 Australian homes.

The Company’s Towards-Zero Carbon Ambition is part of its second Sustainability Report released on Monday, which also looks at social and economic impacts.

With 33 per cent of management positions held by women, NBN Co outperforms the national average, it notes.

Additionally, as at 30 June 2021, NBN Co had a gender pay gap of less than one per cent.