Orica has announced that, parallel to its overarching goal of reaching net zero by 2050, has confirmed it will source 100% renewable electricity for its company-wide power by 2040.
The newly announced goal adds depth to its existing target to reduce scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by at least 40 per cent by 2030. Orica’s renewable electricity target will see the business powered by 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2040, with an interim step of 60 per cent by 2030.
Orica chief financial and sustainability officer Christopher Davis said the commitment signals the company’s intent to not only decarbonize operations, but also enhance its competitiveness in a lower carbon economy.
“As part of our purpose to sustainably mobilize the earth’s resources, and our net zero ambition, we are transitioning our operations towards more renewable forms of energy,” David added. “Over the coming years, Orica will proactively evolve its approach to energy procurement and secure renewable electricity partnerships to support this transition, prioritizing off-site renewable generation projects to spur growth and jobs in the industry.”
The executive noted that it will contract renewable electricity through strategic long-term power purchase agreements to mitigate exposure to volatile electricity markets. It will also look to back local communities and make “a meaningful impact” as it eyes its sustainability targets.
Fundamental to achieving its renewable electricity target, Orica said it will continue to deploy onsite renewable infrastructure across its sites and offices globally while partnering on new build renewable energy projects to amplify its contribution to sustainable global economic development.
To accelerate its path, Orica has entered into a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Lightsource bp for renewable electricity generated by its Wellington North solar farm.
Lightsource bp, a global leader in the development of solar energy projects, will use Orica’s PPA to underpin its Wellington North solar farm – an extension of its pre-existing Wellington solar farm, making it the largest solar developer and owner in Australia.
Located approximately 50 kilometers south-east of Dubbo, New South Wales, the Wellington North solar farm will generate a total of 915GWh of renewable electricity per year, saving over 730,000 metric tonnes of carbon emissions. This extension is expected to create over 400 jobs during construction and eight full time equivalent roles once fully operational in 2025.
As part of the PPA, the Wellington North solar farm will supply around 50% of Orica’s Australian electricity needs, reducing Orica’s global Scope 2 emissions by over 60,000 metric tonnes of carbon emissions annually. Globally, Orica’s proportion of electricity sourced from renewables will be around 30% once Wellington North is fully operational.