Home > Qube’s climate approach still contains little substance

Qube’s climate approach still contains little substance

22 November 2018

22 November 2018

Containers stacked at a shipping port

Containers stacked at a shipping port

Qube is Australia’s largest provider of import and export logistics services, with businesses in ports, bulk, logistics, infrastructure and property.

After failing dismally in every aspect of climate related risk disclosure analysed in Market Forces’ latest Investing in the Dark research, Qube appears to finally have recognised the need to make a start.

Climate change not in vocabulary

Qube is the only ASX-100 listed company in the industrials sector that was identified as not having publicly acknowledged the science of climate change.

While Qube’s 2018 Annual Report still doesn’t mention climate change, it does discuss a shift towards “low-emissions transport and freight facilities.” The report highlights projects such as the Moorebank Logistics Park which Qube claims will “reduce the number of emissions intensive trucks on Australian roads by increasing the use of rail networks to distribute containerised freight.”

But without any analysis of the financial impacts of climate change or emission reduction targets to back these claims, Qube’s comments are merely speculation.

Investors still in the dark about risks

On the risks that Qube’s business faces from climate change, chairman Allan Davies said in Sydney today that “We have recently undertaken an audit of climate-related risks and that audit is in progress as we speak. We are dealing with the issue seriously. Having said that, it’s very early days for Qube because we’ve only just recently commenced that process.”

Several shareholders at today’s annual general meeting wanted to know more, but the Qube board has only just begun to do its homework on a global megatrend that will transform business. This was showcased in Davies’ response to whether the company’s business strategy aligned to a particular energy outlook for energy projections and analysis:

“We haven’t considered any specific issue that you raise there,” he said. “However… energy efficiency is an extremely important issue for us, as evidenced by the Moorebank project’s undertakings to embed a power network on the site, which will save massive amounts of energy, and also the transposition of truck transport to rail will also save a huge amount of greenhouse gas…”

Now that Qube seems to finally be taking climate change out of its container, it needs to move quickly on assessing climate risks to its business, disclosing to investors how the company plans to manage these risks, and being clear which pathway of global warming Qube’s strategy is aligned with.

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