Sustainability: Transitioning to a zero carbon future

LPC’s journey to net zero carbon by 2050 is a longterm transition.

Since formalising this goal as part of our sustainability strategy, we have made significant improvements to our carbon emissions profile.

In FY21, we reported a 19% reduction in carbon emissions, which was largely a result of investment in fuel-efficient Noell straddles. Overall, however, carbon reduction is not a linear process.

Instead, it happens as a series of steps down, depending on what particular plant upgrades and technological developments have happened in any given year.

Business growth can also impact carbon reduction, with improvements to fuel efficiency often masked by an increase in the sheer volume of goods passing through the Port.

For example, in FY22, the LPC Container Terminal handled the highest number of containers ever – over 500,000 compared to 438,345 in FY21.

In the same time period, carbon emissions per TEU were reduced by 7.3%.

The outtake of this is that, despite being unable to report an overall reduction to our carbon emissions for FY22, we have still made progress in improving operational efficiency and reducing our carbon intensity.

We continue to plan our transition and know that urgent progress is needed in the coming decade to address climate change.

Our focus remains on our straddle fleet, which, even with lower-emission engines, still contributes up to 47% of LPC’s carbon emissions.

Transitioning the fleet to low or zero-emission technology represents our biggest opportunity in terms of carbon reduction.

Good news is on the horizon, with the world’s first fully electric straddles emerging on the market this year following two years in testing at other ports.

Tug manufacturers around the world are also ramping up their development of electric technology.

Ports of Auckland now has its first fully electric tug, which gives us the ability to benchmark its performance as we plan our refurbishment/ replacement schedule for LPC tugs Blackadder and Piaka.

Similarly, electric options for light truck and utes continue to emerge in the market, and we will be looking to progressively change our vehicles out as we update them over the next three–five years.

Our Procurement team continues to take a partnership approach with suppliers to identify ways we can accelerate reduction of our carbon emissions.

As we look ahead to the transition to electric, our approach is comprehensive and pragmatic.

We need to consider a wide range of implications such as operability, charging time, progressive integration and capacity from our electricity provider.

As a business, we seek to invest in proven technology that does not impact the efficiency of our operations while still taking assertive action to work towards our goal of net zero carbon by 2050.

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