Orica takes home top prizes in AFR Sustainability Leaders Awards

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Orica Kooragang Island Manufacturing Plant - Tertiary Abatement Technology installation. Image supplied.

Orica, a global leader in mining and infrastructure solutions and one of Australia’s key manufacturers, has been distinguished for its sustainability efforts in the 2024 Australian Financial Review (AFR) Sustainability Leaders Awards.

The ASX-listed company earned top honours in two significant categories: Resources, Energy, and Utilities, as well as the Overall Impact award.

The AFR’s ‘Sustainability Leaders’ list celebrates Australian companies from diverse industries that are making substantial progress in addressing sustainability challenges while delivering business value.

An expert panel rigorously assessed each organisation’s impact on non-financial outcomes and their alignment with competitive advantage and business value.

Operating within the hard-to-abate manufacturing sector, Orica has been recognised for its proactive role in accelerating responsible mining and infrastructure development to support the transition to a low-carbon economy.

Guided by the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Orica has adopted innovative low-carbon technologies at its Kooragang Island ammonium nitrate plant in Newcastle, Australia.

These advancements enable Orica to provide sustainable solutions that help customers achieve their sustainability goals and contribute to society’s transition to a decarbonised future.

The AFR’s expert panel, in collaboration with Boston Consulting Group (BCG), evaluated Orica’s sustainability initiatives and acknowledged their significant impact.

A highlight of Orica’s efforts is the ‘Kooragang Island Decarbonisation Project,’ a $37 million private-public investment involving Orica, the NSW Government, and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

Completed in 2023, the project saw the commissioning and operation of Australia’s first tertiary catalyst abatement technology across three nitric acid manufacturing plants on site.

This technology will reduce site emissions by approximately 45 percent and Australia’s total chemical industrial sector emissions by around 11 percent, making it one of the country’s largest industrial decarbonisation projects.

The project has also injected over $12 million into the Hunter Valley economy, helping future-proof the Kooragang Island manufacturing facility and ensuring the continued, reliable supply of critical products to the mining, medical, agricultural, and food and beverage sectors.

In acknowledging this significant recognition, Orica’s President – Australia Pacific and Sustainability Germán Morales said, “We are exceptionally proud to receive these awards. They acknowledge our team’s ongoing commitment to sustainability and years of collaboration across Orica, Government, and partners. We have demonstrated that economic growth and environmental stewardship can go hand in hand, and together, we are shaping a more sustainable future.”

He added, “As we continue our decarbonisation efforts, we will focus on installing the same proven technology at our Yarwun facility this year. This will help deliver against Orica’s accelerated climate targets to reduce net operational Scope 1 and 2 emissions by at least 45 percent by 2030, from 2019 levels, and is a further step towards achieving our ambition of net zero emissions by 2050 at the latest.”

To learn more about Orica’s ongoing commitment to sustainability, visit orica.com/sustainability.