Can Twiggy help make China green?

Fortescue Metals Group have announced they will introduce Scope 3 emission targets, which means working with customers – which includes some of the biggest carbon polluters in China – to curb their emissions.

Scope 3 emissions were defined by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG) as the result of activities from assets not owned or controlled by the reporting organisation.

Speaking at the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) Superannuation Investment Conference, when asked what commitments would he be able to extract from the biggest emitters on the planet, Fortescue chief executive Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest said the intention was to offer the ability for the firm’s customers to be able to go green.

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“We are the first major company to be able to provide green iron ore, that immediately is a huge benefit to our customers because instead of buying carbon-emitting iron ore, they’ll be buying carbon free iron ore,” Forrest said.

“In that process, we’ll also be able to offer our customers green hydrogen, which means they can replace coal from their furnaces.

“That’s a huge step if we can offer them green iron ore as well as green hydrogen as a full replacement for green coal, then you have a serious get out of jail free card for our customers.

“We’re providing them with the solution, not just with the responsibility.”

Forrest said Fortescue would come out in the next three weeks with firm Scope 3 emission targets.

“When we say Scope 3 emissions [targets], we’re saying we’re going to help our customers go green,” Forrest said.

“I’ve been somewhat cynical about companies signed onto Scope 3 targets without any plan or strategy, clearly it’s just ticking a box with superannuation funds.

“Super funds deserve a great deal more than that, they don’t need that superficiality, they need integrity behind that commitment.”

Forrest said it was important to look at these industries at the beginning, not when they’re fully mature.

“We don’t get many opportunities to look squarely at the world’s industry which will be green hydrogen and green energy and say we have an opportunity to get in at the start,” Forrest said.

The market for responsible investments in Australia reached $1.2 trillion, according to the ‘Responsible Investment Benchmark Report 2021, which showed overall responsible investment demand had increased drastically in the country.

Forrest said: “I own up to my record, I’m a heavy carbon emitter, I’m doing something I can about it.”

According to data from FE Analytics, Fortescue was held by 41 funds which included funds from Bennelong, CFS, Dimensional, IOOF, Pendal, Perennial and U Ethical.

Nine of those funds were listed under ethical/sustainable (from Dimensional, Pendal, Russell, U Ethical and Vanguard).

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