Port of Newcastle’s 2020 Sustainability Report highlights progress in achieving sustainability commitments

Port of Newcastle has released its annual report measuring the organisation’s progress towards achieving its sustainability targets. 

Port of Newcastle’s CEO Craig Carmody said the 2020 Sustainability Report examined the Port’s efforts to embed the principles of sustainability across its operations. 

“In a year that was defined by the COVID-19 pandemic, Port of Newcastle continued to pursue a diverse range of initiatives to create sustainable social, environmental and economic benefits for the Hunter and NSW,” said Mr Carmody. 

“I am especially proud to see the Port’s new fleet of electric vehicles on the road and the establishment of our first Indigenous STEM Scholarship in partnership with the University of Newcastle. 

“These are just some of the initiatives that we are progressing today to create a safe, sustainable, and environmentally and socially responsible port of the future.”  

The release of the 2020 Sustainability Report follows the April announcement of landmark loan for Port of Newcastle (PON) that aligns financing for Australia’s largest east coast seaport with long-term environmentally and socially responsible outcomes. 

This is the first sustainability-linked financing by an Australian seaport and the first such loan in Australia to include a modern slavery assessment metric addressing all of the borrower’s suppliers. 

The other four metrics focus on emissions reduction, mental health first aid, diversity and inclusion and achieving certified recognition against the NSW Government Sustainability Advantage Scheme. 

The 2020 Sustainability report uses Port of Newcastle’s sustainability framework to highlight the achievements made in 2020: Our People, Our Planet, Our Prosperity and Our Partnerships.  

Click here to read the report.

Highlights of the 2020 Sustainability Report 

Our Planet 

  • Significant reduction in operational carbon emissions from previous years. 
  • Port operations on track to be powered by 100% renewable energy by 2021, with 90.5% of our electricity supply transitioned to renewables in 2020.  
  • By the end of 2020, approximately 70% of PON’s vehicle fleet switched to electric.  
  • Port of Newcastle’s positioning as a critical gateway for renewable energy technology was bolstered in 2020 with the continued shipments of wind turbines through the port.  

Our People 

  • Transforming what has traditionally been a male-dominated industry, 43% of PON’s new recruits were female in 2020.  
  • Rapid response to the COVID-19 pandemic with all non-operational PON staff commencing working-from-home arrangements in March 2020. 
  • Launch of PON’s Agile Work arrangements which will continue into the future, allowing non-operational staff the choice to work flexibly from any location, including PON offices and from home.  
  • Taking into consideration the wellbeing of its people, PON ran a range of employee wellness initiatives in 2020, including mental health first aid training and a workplace mindfulness program. 
  • Led by the Employee Engagement Forum, employees from across the business helped to define a new set of values that reflect Port of Newcastle’s workplace culture and support the Port’s plans for the future 

Our Partnerships 

  • Launched a $30,000 partnership with University of Newcastle. Applications for the Indigenous Students in STEM Scholarship opened in September 2020 and will be awarded in 2021. 
  • Through its 2020 sponsorship program, PON provided support to 12 local organisations. 
  • Assisting City of Newcastle and the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, Port of Newcastle placed 12.15 tonnes of clean sand, dredged from the channel, offshore Stockton Beach to help with the response to coastal erosion. 
  • Partnered with local Aboriginal-owned cultural education provider Speaking in Colour to roll out cultural awareness training for all our employees to better understand the unique context and experiences of local Aboriginal communities and staff members who identify as Aboriginal. 

Our Prosperity 

  • 4,414 vessel movements. 
  • 165 million tonnes of trade worth $26 billion to the NSW economy. 
  • Continued efforts to progress diversification projects and the growth of existing diversified trade. 

About Port of Newcastle’s sustainability commitments 

In driving long term value creation for the Hunter region and New South Wales, sustainability is at the core of Port of Newcastle’s culture and business strategy. As part of its sustainability framework, Port of Newcastle is focused on: 

  • Improving and growing existing supply chains and diversifying trade to ensure continued economic growth for the Hunter Region and NSW; 
  • Minimising and offsetting the Port’s environmental footprint, as well as maintaining the status of being the world’s largest energy port by supporting the global movement towards the use of renewable energy; 
  • Partnering with our employees, customers and community on initiatives that ensure the Port continues to support thriving, prosperous communities for generations to come.


Read more about the Port’s sustainability commitments. 

Commitments and goals for 2021 and beyond 

As the Port continues to embed sustainability principles across its operations, it is also pursuing a diverse range of initiatives to create sustainable social, environmental and economic benefits for the Hunter and NSW.  

In 2021, some of these include: 

  • Reduce and maintain PON’s Scope 1 and 2 emissions in line with the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi) well below 2°C scenario; 
  • Achieve 100% renewable power for our electricity needs by 2021; 
  • Transition entire vehicle fleet to electric by 2023; 
  • Achieve Silver Partner recognition under NSW Government Sustainability Advantage Program; 
  • Develop a Diversity and Inclusion Strategy; 
  • Develop an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander internship program; 
  • Assess 100% of our suppliers for modern slavery risk; 
  • Develop a sustainability financing framework; and 
  • 100% of staff undertaking mandatory cultural awareness training.