Tokyo Gas Australia certified carbon neutral by offsetting its office emissions

TOKYO Gas Australia has been accused of greenwashing as it claims to be a carbon neutral certified company in Australia on a technicality by offsetting the emissions from its offices in Perth and Brisbane.

Tokyo Gas Australia's website, featuring the Climate Active logo

Tokyo Gas Australia's website, featuring the Climate Active logo

The company has stakes in major LNG facilities across Australia, including Ichthys (1.5%) and DLNG (3.06%) in the Northern Territory, Gorgon (1%) and Pluto (6.25%) in Western Australia via non-operator subsidiaries.  

Based on data from National Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reporting from the Clean Energy Regulator, the company's equity share of emissions from these projects during FY 2019-20 was approximately 377,000 tonnes of CO2. 

However, according to its website, it has been able to certify itself as a carbon neutral company through the offsetting organisation, Climate Active, by purchasing and cancelling carbon credits for the 235.7 tonnes of CO2-equivalent its Australian offices in Perth and Brisbane created during the period from January to December 2021. 

"Tokyo Gas Australia has become the first Japanese company in Australia to achieve carbon neutral certification from Climate Active," the company said on its website, which features the Carbon Neutral certification on its homepage. 

"We are continually exploring opportunities to reduce the carbon footprint such as reduce energy consumption, promote recycling activities, and purchase high efficiency energy equipment."

The units purchased to offset its office emissions went towards a wind farm project in India. 

Climate Active is a partnership between the Australian government and businesses aiming to independently certify companies' emission reduction efforts.

Climate Active certified the Tokyo Gas Australia at the end of last month, noting Tokyo Gas participates as a minority joint venture in its LNG projects, with it being granted a small organisation certificate. 

"Tokyo Gas Australia's objective is to achieve carbon neutrality for its office. We achieve net zero by acquiring and retiring carbon credits," its statement reads. 

Polly Hemming from progressive think tank The Australia Institute described the company's claims as "a stunning act of greenwashing".

Climate Active is the same organisation that has verified that Cooper Energy as carbon neutral by offsetting its scope 1 and 2 emissions. 

A Cooper Energy spokesperson told Energy News that it was up to companies to decide on how they went about obtaining the Climate Active certification, noting it was up to the federal government auditor to make those decisions. 

Cooper released its sustainability report yesterday, noting on an equity share basis, scope 1 and 2 emissions in FY21 came to roughly 3800 tonnes of CO2 equivalent, all of which were offset, while its scope 3 emissions totalled 962,000Tco2e. 

"For us we wanted to ensure it was really clear to the market and the community how we've gone about it," the spokesperson said. 

"We don't have a view about how others do it, we want to be transparent about how we did it." 

Tokyo Gas and Climate Active could not be reached for comment.


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