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Port Waratah works to create a positive environmental footprint that measures demand against the capacity of the natural resources and environment we operate in.

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Energy efficiency and emissions

We deliver strategies to improve our energy efficiency and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.

Almost 99% of the energy consumed at Port Waratah is grid-purchased electricity to operate plant and equipment and provide power and lighting to our buildings. We take opportunities to improve our emissions footprint by improving operational efficiency and equipment reliability at our terminals. Some examples include the installation of LED lighting, automated rail unloading facilities, improvements in loading and stacking rates, increased equipment reliability, and investing resources to investigate further energy efficiency opportunities and reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

We annually report our energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for the previous financial year to the Federal Government through the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (NGER) scheme. This data is used to meet international reporting obligations, inform government policy and provide information for government programmes and activities. 

Read our latest corporate emissions and energy data:

Clean energy regulations website
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We seek to improve resource efficiency through improved waste management practices, with an active focus on recycling and landfill diversion.

We use a simple process to continuously improve waste management by source segregating various waste streams; encouraging waste minimisation across operations, contractors, and suppliers; taking action to divert waste from landfill; and pursuing recycling opportunities to improve resource efficiency, reduce environmental footprint and increase participation in the circular economy. 

Our team continues to improve the management of problematic waste materials, pursuing opportunities to eliminate, or reduce the generation of certain waste types, or establish re-use and recycling opportunities. An example of this is joining the Plastic Police programme, which enables Port Waratah to collect and recycle soft plastics waste into useful products, which we purchase to offset the generation of waste material.

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Potable Water Consumption

We continuously improve water efficiency and reduce our potable water consumption.

Water is critical to our daily operations. To create a sustainable use of water,  runoff from operational water use as well as rainfall is harvested within the operational catchments of our Carrington and Kooragang terminals and stored in our water management system. This stored water is used preferentially for operational and dust management activities. 

If there is insufficient water onsite for reuse, we top-up our system with potable water purchased from Hunter Water, a State-owned utility. This is recaptured and reused up to five times, with Port Waratah’s objective to continually improve water efficiency year-on-year and reduce the overall volume of potable water used for operational purposes.  

Weather and water use

Our potable water consumption is heavily affected by rainfall (stormwater capture), weather conditions and seasonal variations that impact our process and availability of stored water. 

In periods of lower rainfall and warmer temperatures, there is a reduction in harvestable stormwater and recirculated water in our water management system. If this occurs, we review our consumption trends, and work collaboratively with Hunter Water through developed Water Efficiency Management Plans (WEMP) for each of our terminals to identify and implement improvement actions for greater water efficiency.

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In 2020, we reviewed several operational aspects of our water management system and adjusted how and when water is stored and transferred in the system. This significantly increased the efficient reuse of water at the Carrington Terminal and in 2021, Port Waratah received the Love Water, Love Business Award at the Hunter Business Awards. 

Results showed a 50 per cent reduction in potable water consumption at the terminal compared to the previous three-year average, highlighting the significant water management and efficiency improvements totalling an investment of more than $21 million in system upgrades at the terminal since 2016.

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Land use and biodiversity

We minimise our impact on our environment while recognising biodiversity values by locating our Terminals in precincts of significant industrial history and adjacent to areas of equally significant ecological importance.

Immediately adjacent to the 2.1km2 Kooragang Terminal is the Hunter Wetlands National Park and the internationally recognised Hunter Estuary Wetlands Ramsar site. The wetland supports 45 species of migratory birds listed under international agreements and 112 species of waterbirds, as well as other wildlife such as the endangered Green and Golden Bell Frog population.

Biodiversity Management Plan

We conduct regular assessments to update our management plans and document biodiversity values within, and surrounding, our site boundaries. Our Biodiversity Management Plan manages our day-to-day biodiversity activities, outlining general land management practices including weed, pest and erosion control, landscaping and wildlife management.

Land Management Strategy

Our Land Management Strategy incorporates all managed sites, enhancing areas of biodiverse value within our boundaries. Weed management at Port Waratah focuses on regionally strategic weed species, such as Pampas grass, Groundsel bush and Lantana.

Land Use Strategy

This strategy aims to improve land use efficiency for operational activities, recognising and enhancing the ecological diversity inside and surrounding our operations.

Land use and biodiversity infographic

View Infographic
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Environmental reporting

Looking for information on our environmental performance?