Greenhouse gas emissions

Transurban measures and sets targets for our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and performs risk assessments on our assets to mitigate the potential impact of climate change through planning, design, delivery and operations.

FY17 Greenhouse gas emissions

In FY17, Scope 1 and 2 emissions4 associated with Transurban managed assets were 123,274 tCO2-e5.

Transurban’s GHG emissions arise from fuel and electricity usage, with Scope 1 emissions accounting for two per cent of emissions and Scope 2 emissions from purchased electricity accounting for 98 per cent of emissions.

FY17 emissions were higher than FY16 GHG emissions of 95,348 tCO2-e with the increase attributed to the acquisition of AirportLinkM7 in April 2016 and subsequent inclusion in our reporting from FY17 onwards.

We also monitor our corporate Scope 3 emissions from upstream energy supply, corporate air travel and emissions from waste to landfill.

Detailed GHG data is available in this report’s Environmental Data appendix.

Greenhouse gas reduction target

Until recently, our GHG emissions reduction efforts have focused primarily on energy-reduction initiatives to meet our 10-in-10 energy target. In FY17, we took the significant step of establishing a separate science-based greenhouse gas emissions reduction target aligned with global efforts to mitigate climate change.

Transurban has set a target to achieve a 52 per cent reduction in Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030, compared to 2016 levels. This is a significant extension of the scale of our GHG emissions objectives, moving beyond energy reduction opportunities towards the introduction of low-carbon energy sources.

Our target has been set using the Sectoral Decarbonisation Approach (SDA) that sets corporate emission reduction targets in line with climate science with the goal of limiting human-induced global warming to 2°C. The SDA method considers the nature of our operations, our historical and projected emissions and aligns our target with global sector-specific decarbonisation profiles. Transurban is among more than 200 corporate leaders now establishing similar science-based GHG emission reduction targets.

Achieving the target will drive business efficiency opportunities while mitigating our risk exposure to electricity and carbon markets. Transurban aims to achieve its emissions target through:

  • Expanding the scope of energy efficiency projects beyond the current 10-in-10 target
  • Sourcing low-carbon energy with the expansion of on-site renewable energy generation and the direct purchasing of renewable energy and Large-scale Generation Certificates (LGCs) from generators
  • The gradual decarbonisation of the national electricity market in line with the Australian Renewable Energy Target (RET)

Greenhouse gas emissions reduction pathway:

We will review the target at appropriate intervals to take into account updated climate data and any significant changes in our operational structure such as new assets. We continue to analyse Scope 36 emissions arising from our supply chain and are investigating ways to mitigate emissions impacts from procured goods, services and materials.

CLEM7 energy and greenhouse gas saving initiative

CLEM7’s airflow requirements and subsequent ventilation operating regime are resulting in avoidable GHG emissions and high energy costs. Transurban Queensland and Brisbane City Council are investigating the possibility of a two-year trial of new ventilation operating regimes with the goal of optimising overall sustainability outcomes across tunnel ventilation, and reducing energy demand and GHG emissions.

Customer vehicle emissions

Using our roadside systems and traffic data, Transurban can estimate the greenhouse gas emissions produced by customer vehicles travelling on our roads. In FY17 we estimate customer vehicles emitted 1,372,482 tCO2-e on assets under our management7. This figure is around 11 times greater than all of Transurban’s Scope 1 and 2 corporate emissions combined.

We have less influence over reducing customer vehicle emissions than our own operations, as these emissions are controlled by road users and are not attributed to Transurban.

Transurban influences customer emissions by providing high-quality infrastructure and traffic management with the goal of improving travel times and vehicle efficiency. Vehicles travelling in free-flow traffic conditions operate more efficiently and produce less greenhouse gas emissions compared to stop-start traffic situations.

Transurban's roads are designed and operated to keep traffic flowing, and this helps reduce congestion and improve travel times when compared to alternative routes. Transurban collects and analyses travel-time data from our toll roads as well as adjacent alternative routes. Our analysis of travel time and fuel efficiency data confirm that using Transurban's routes in free-flow traffic situations produces less GHG emissions per kilometre than using an alternative route along arterial roads.


4) Customer emission figures exclude non-Transurban managed assets (M5 South West and Westlink M7).

5) Scope 3 GHG emissions are indirect emissions from the purchase of goods and services in our supply chain.

6) Scope 1 GHG emissions are from the direct use of fuel. Scope 2 GHG emissions are from the consumption of purchased electricity, heat or steam.

7) GHG figures exclude non-Transurban managed assets (M5 South West and Westlink M7).

UN Sustainable Development Goals relevant to this page