Largest Aussie cargo port targets net zero emissions by 2030

As Australia’s largest general cargo and container port, the Port of Melbourne is a vital trading gateway for southeastern Australia, facilitating more than a third of the nation’s container trade and playing a critical role as a key driver of economic activity. The port services southeast Australia, including Tasmania, and occupies a central position in the freight and logistics industry.

To achieve its net zero target by 2030, the port plans to source 100% of the electricity needed for its business operations from renewables; and transition its corporate vehicle fleet and marine survey vessel to electric or zero-emissions fuel technologies.

Port of Melbourne CEO Saul Cannon said the port supports Victoria and Australia’s transition to net zero emissions. “Port of Melbourne is committed to managing the risks and opportunities arising from climate change to ensure the long-term sustainability of the port and the ongoing resilience of our assets,” he said.

The port measures Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions to understand its climate impact and inform its decarbonization roadmap. “As well as committing to net zero emissions for our own operations, we are well placed to support the efforts of our stakeholders to progress decarbonization efforts across the port supply chain,” Cannon added.

“Our focus on sustainability is core to our purpose and strategy and critical to our future success. We’re engaging with our stakeholders to reduce Scope 3 emissions and facilitate decarbonization across the port supply chain,” he concluded.

Port of Melbourne will continue to provide updates on its approach and progress to climate management in its annual sustainability report. Recently, it signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the industry to explore the commercial feasibility of establishing a green methanol bunkering hub. The MOU provides a starting point for the parties to work together to explore the various elements of establishing the hub and identify any challenges that must be addressed.

The port’s sustainability efforts were recognized in 2022 with a 5-star rating in the GRESB Infrastructure Asset Assessment and was recognized as the most improved in the ports sector.

Joining the C40 Green Ports Forum

The port also recently joined the C40 Green Ports Forum—an organization of leading cities and ports worldwide with ambitious goals to mitigate air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions and deliver positive health and economic benefits for communities.

C40 Cities is a network of mayors of nearly 100 leading cities working together to deliver 1.5-degree-aligned climate action plans. C40’s Ports & Shipping team was established in partnership with the City and Port of Los Angeles to mainstream this ambition with maritime sector leaders.

The C40 Green Ports Forum brings together dozens of cities and their ports to advance maritime decarbonization and the broader energy transition.

“The City of Melbourne has set the ambitious goal to be a city powered by 100% renewable energy by 2030 and reach zero net emissions by 2040,” said Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp. “As a member of C40 since 2005, Council congratulates the Port of Melbourne on joining the Green Ports Forum. As Australia’s largest container port, it facilitates more than one-third of the nation’s container trade. The port’s central location is an asset but also heightens the importance of its leadership in sustainability.”

For his part, Cannon said, “We are well placed to work on key sustainability efforts across the port’s supply chain and support the efforts of our stakeholders to progress decarbonization and minimize the port’s impact on our land, air, and waters. Our focus on sustainability is core to our purpose and strategy and critical to our future success.”

C40 Regional Director for East, Southeast Asia & Oceania, Milag San Jose-Ballesteros, shared, “International and regional collaboration is essential to accelerate climate action in the shipping sector and limit global heating to 1.5°C. C40 welcomes the City of Melbourne and the Port of Melbourne to the Green Ports Forum and recognizes the growing commitments of cities and ports in the East, Southeast Asia, and Oceania regions to collaborate towards decarbonizing global supply chains.

“Melbourne joins six other regional members in the forum—Auckland, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, and Yokohama—all actively engaging in collective climate action, such as Singapore’s Green and Digital Shipping Corridor with Los Angeles and Long Beach. These actions create replicable and scalable models for other cities and ports to follow, strengthening climate resilience, improving public health, and delivering good, green jobs for port communities,” she added. (Story and photo courtesy of the Port of Melbourne)